Kane No. 1 In Manitoba

Kane is still the king of wheats in Manitoba af ter dethroning longt ime monarch AC Barrie last year, but Glenn and Harvest aren’t far behind.

Kane, a relatively new variety, accounted for 25.4 per cent of the Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat acres seeded in Manitoba this spring, according to the Canadian Wheat Board’s (CWB) 2010 crop variety survey.

That’s up from 22.6 per cent in 2009.

Glenn was in second spot, jumping sharply to 15.9 per cent (from just 3.4 per cent in 2009), while Harvest was close behind at 15.2 per cent, according to the CWB survey. Data from the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation is similar, but puts Harvest in second place with 17.5 per cent versus Glenn at 16.1. It found Manitoba farmers seeded 546,407 acres of Kane in 2010.

“There were no real surprises,” said CWB agronomist Mike Grenier. “It was pretty much as expected. With new varieties coming on, guys have been changing up their older varieties. It started in Alberta and Saskatchewan a number of years ago, and Manitoba was a little later to do that because they were waiting for varieties with better fusarium tolerance.”

Older var iet ies such as AC Barrie, Superb and McKenzie cont inue to decline in acreage, he added. Grenier expects Kane’s share to remain steady at around 25 per cent of Manitoba acres – a much different scenario than when AC Barrie sat on the throne. That variety, registered in 1994, peaked at 1.8 million acres in the province in 2001 and held as much as a 61 per cent share during its decade of dominance.

“Now we’re seeing a situation where instead of seeing one or two big varieties, we have three to five varieties that are making up the bulk of the acres and then there’s another dozen varieties that bring you to about 80 per cent,” he said. “I think we’re going to continue to see that trend going forward and see varieties turn over quicker.”

Manitoba farmers have a lot more CWRS wheats to choose from, therefore it’s more important than ever that the registration system ensures new varieties meet the class quality standards so customers get the value they expect, Grenier said.

“And that’s why the (variety) survey is important for us to understand what’s being grown – and where – as the crop is moving into the handling system,” he said.

If there’s a complaint, the CWB can then assess the variety mix in a particular shipment.

CWRS wheat is the dominant class in Manitoba, accounting for 90 per cent of the province’s wheat acres, the CWB survey says. Newer CWRS varieties are higher yielding and sometimes rival winter wheat yields, but fetch more per bushel.

As well, Canada Prairie Spring (CPS) red wheats aren’t disease resistant enough for central and eastern Manitoba. Only 43 farmers insured a total of 10,668 acres of CPS wheat in 2010. Almost all of that was the variety 5701 HR.

Canada Western Red Winter (CWRW) wheat is the second-biggest wheat class in Manitoba, with the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation insuring 190,782 acres in 2010. CDC Falcon continues to dominate that class, accounting for 76.3 per cent of the acres in 2010 (up from 68 per cent last year) while CDC Buteo, a CWB “select” variety, had 19.5 per cent of the acres (down from 23 per cent).

MASC insured 29,262 acres of Hard White wheat in 2010, with the Snowstar variety continuing to dominate the Canada Western Hard White Spring class with 93 per cent of acres. Ptarmigan remains the most popular Canada Western General Purpose wheat, accounting for 70 per cent of the acres in 2010, unchanged from last year.

In malting barley, last year’s No. 2 two-and six-row varieties both moved into first place. Newdale had 43.2 per cent of two-row malting barley acres in Manitoba in 2010, with AC Metcalf second at 34.8 per cent. In six-row, Legacy had 36 per cent of the acres, followed by Tradition (30.9) and Stellar -ND (16.9). In 2009, Tradition accounted for 51 per cent with Legacy at 30.7.

Conlon and Ranger remained the top two-and six-row feed barleys in 2010, although their shares dropped slightly to 67.6 and 37.4 per cent, respectively.

This year Manitoba farmers insured 426,128 acres of barley – feed and malt. Conlon dominated with 118,272 acres (27.8 per cent), followed by Newdale (10.9), Metcalf (10.7), Tradition (8.0), Legacy (5.5) and Ranger (1.3).

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Nowwe’reseeingasituationwhere insteadofseeingoneortwobigvarieties, wehavethreetofivevarietiesthatare makingupthebulkoftheacresand thenthere’sanotherdozenvarieties thatbringyoutoabout80percent.”

– MI KE GRENIER

About the author

Reporter

Allan Dawson

Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.

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