Manitoba farmers should have access to seed for a Hard Red Spring wheat with significantly improved disease resistance this spring.
Glenn, North Dakota’s most popular spring milling wheat, was recommended for registration as a Red Spring wheat eligible for the premium Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat class by the Prairie Recommending Committee for Wheat, Rye and Triticale (WRT) here at the Prairie Grain Development Committee’s (PGDC) annual meeting Feb. 26.
The variety is North Dakota State University’s high-yielding, short, strong-strawed, leaf-rust-resistant, awned Dark Northern Spring wheat with a ‘fair’ rating for tolerance to fusarium head blight (FHB).
“Basically Glenn’s claim to fame is it has a great disease package and that includes (fair tolerance to) fusarium,” Rick Rutherford, a Grosse Isle-area seed grower who represents Winter Cereals Canada on the Wheat, Rye and Triticale Committee said during an interview following the secret vote.
“I think it (Glenn) will become the dominant wheat in all of Manitoba because fusarium isn’t isolated to the Red River Valley,” he said. “This is the first variety that has the ability to knock AC Barrie off its peg.”
AC Barrie, an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada variety registered in 1994 and first sold commercially in 1997, was the most popular spring wheat grown in Manitoba in 2008, accounting for 25 per cent of the acres. Even though long in the tooth, AC Barrie yields averaged 50 bushels an acre last year.
Farmers routinely apply fungicides to AC Barrie to
“Basically Glenn’s claim to fame is it has a great disease package and that includes (fair tolerance to) fusarium.”
– rick rutherford
control leaf rust, but it remains a favourite because of its other attributes including a “fair” rating for fusarium tolerance.
There’s lots of certified Glenn seed in North Dakota to supply Manitoba farmers for planting this spring, but they should expect to pay a premium price, Rutherford said. Canterra Seeds has exclusive Canadian Plant Breeders Rights to the variety.
Not only is it illegal for Canadian farmers to import Glenn from the U. S., it’s illegal for American farmers to sell Glenn to Canadian farmers, Rutherford said.
Glenn will be the first American DNS to get full registration in Western Canada. North Dakota spring wheats Alsen and Grandin received interim registrations in the early 2000s and 1990s, respectively, but after more testing they were withdrawn because neither met CWRS quality standards.
North Dakota farmers grew more than six million acres of Glenn last year, accounting for 28 per cent of the state’s spring wheat acres. According to an NDSU report Glenn yields averaged 73 and 45.3 bushels an acre last year in eastern and western North Dakota, respectively. Protein averaged 15.9 per cent.
However, in three years of testing in Western Canada Glenn yields, while very good, averaged less than mean of the checks. It also matured three days later than the mean of the checks.
The WRT committee’s disease subcommittee gave Glenn the same rating to FHB as AC Barrie, however, Glenn was found to have less DON (deoxynivalenol), the toxin produced by FHB.
Glenn’s milling and baking quality is mixed, said Graham Worden, the Canadian Wheat Board’s senior manager of technical services and member of the WRT committee’s quality subcommittee. “Flour colour was below the mean of the checks in the first and second year (of tests) and was considered poor in the third year,” he said.
Glenn’s dough mixing strength exceeded the desired maximum for the CWRS and it makes poor noodles.
Glenn also is more susceptible to sprouting, resulting in a lower-than-desired falling number (measure of baking quality) and that could result in farmers getting lower grades.
“It’s obvious this is a line that was not brought up through the (western Canadian) breeding programs… because it has a really mixed bag of quality characteristics,” Worden said. [email protected]