A lack of data sidelined three potential wheat varieties at the recent meeting of the PRCWRT and another was tabled, leaving just two to face voting.
They were BW5007 and GP202, intended for the Canada Western Red Spring wheat and Western Special Purpose (CWSP) classes, respectively.
BW5007 and GP202 were supported for full and interim registration, respectively.
The agronomy and quality teams supported BW5007, a variety developed by Francis Kirigwi, a Morden, Man., wheat breeder with Syngenta. But the disease team flagged it because it rated moderately susceptible to common bunt and the standard is intermediate. In arguing for support of his variety, Kirigwi noted common bunt can be reduced through seed treatments.
GP202 is a Limagrain Cereals Canada variety. It couldn’t be recommended for full registration because there was only two years of trial data and three years are needed to assess disease tolerance. However, Brent McCallum, an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada plant pathologist at the Morden Research Centre and chair of the disease team, said based on two years the variety’s disease tolerance, including to fusarium head blight, looks promising.
Wheats intended for the CWSP class are not assessed for end-use quality.
The PRCWRT’s mandate is to assess the merit of new varieties of wheat, rye and triticale and is considered a key component, along with the wheat classification system and Canadian Grain Commission oversight, in maintaining Canada’s high-quality wheat brand.
The assessments are usually based on data collected from three years of field trials. If new varieties of milling wheat meet the agronomy, disease end-use quality standards for the intended class, the PRCWRT recommends CFIA register them. And while the CFIA has the power not to, it seldom does.
As a result when new varieties hit the fields farmers can be confident they will perform as well or better than current ones, while delivering the attributes millers and bakers need.