Time To Line Up Winter Wheat Seed

With an estimated three million unseeded acres in Manitoba, a lot of farmers are expected to seed winter wheat later this month.

“The supply (of winter wheat seed) will be good but the demand will be high,” Todd Hyra, SeCan’s business manager for Western Canada said in an interview Aug. 5.

“I’d say call your local seed grower to line up product as quickly as possible. (CDC) Buteo is probably pretty tight but (CDC) Falcon looks to be in good supply at this point in time.”

Winter wheat harvest has begun in central and eastern Manitoba so new-crop seed will be available shortly, Hyra said.

Dry, hot weather appears to have kept fusarium head blight levels down, he said.

ON ITS WAY OUT

CDC Falcon is the most popular winter wheat grown in Manitoba, but farmers need to remember the variety might not qualify for the higher-value Canada Red Winter wheat (CWRW) class starting Aug. 1, 2013, said Jake Davidson, executive director of Winter Cereals Canada. If a suitable milling wheat is available to replace it, CDC Falcon will be moved to the Canada Western General Purpose class. It’s intended to serve the livestock and ethanol markets and is expected to earn less per bushel than CWRW winter wheat.

Four other winter wheats currently in the CWRW class – CDC Kestrel, CDC Clair, CDC Harrier and CDC Raptor – will be transferred to the CWGP class August 1, 2013 whether there are replacements or not.

The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) says the reclassifications will enhance the milling quality of the CWRW class.

“Continuing to include varieties with high yield, but low milling quality in the CWRW class affected the overall ability of this class to compete in global markets,” the CGC commission said in a news release July 15.

The Canadian Wheat Board relaxed the quality specifications of CWRW wheats to encourage more winter wheat production in Western Canada.

REPLACEMENTS

It later split the class into two categories – “select,” which was for milling-quality winter wheat, and “generic” for the other varieties.

SeCan expects AC Flourish will be a suitable replacement for CDC Falcon, Hyra said. Limited quantities will be available in 2013, enough with supply expected to meet demand in 2014.

Canterra expects to launch a new CWRW variety in 2014, said Brent Derkatch, Canterra’s director of operations and business development. The as-yet unnamed variety, currently called W454, will be named later this year. Developed by Agriculture Canada’s Rob Graf, it’s the first winter wheat rated “R” (resistant) to fusarium head blight, Derkatch said.

Canterra Seeds is also launching a new CWGP winter wheat this fall called AC Broadview.

SeCan has two relatively new CWGP wheats called Accipiter and Peregrine.

To qualify for crop insurance coverage, winter wheat must be sown in Manitoba between Aug. 20 and Sept. 15. Farmers can plant as late as Sept. 20, but with a 20 per cent reduction in crop insurance coverage.

Seeding into stubble increases the chances of winter wheat surviving the winter by catching snow, which insulates the crop.

Winter wheat sown into a non-eligible stubble crop, including summerfallow, will not qualify for a Stage 1 indemnity prior to June 20 and is only eligible for a reseed benefit of 25 per cent of coverage.

INSURANCE ELIGIBILITY

Winter wheat sown into non-eligible stubble that establishes and suffers an insurable loss after June 20 (Stage 2) is eligible for 100 per cent coverage.

Weeds do not qualify as stubble. The Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) defines “eligible stubble” as “stubble from a crop harvested in the same year that the winter wheat is seeded, with that stubble having not been disturbed by cultivation.”

The following are eligible stubble crops: tame hay, tall fescue seed, canola, rapeseed, barley, wheat, oats, mixed grain, triticale, flax, mustard, fall rye, canaryseed, ryegrass seed, timothy seed, alfalfa seed, hemp, sunflowers, corn, borage, millet, corriander, sorghum, sudan grass, or buckwheat.

Before planting winter wheat farmers are advised to make sure their fields are free of spring or winter wheat volunteers. Both can harbour the wheat curl mite, which spreads wheat streak mosaic, a viral disease that can dramatically reduce winter wheat yields.

The disease was recently confirmed in the La Riviere area, according to Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives. Wheat streak mosaic symptoms include light-green and yellow streaks on the leaves.

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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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