“I think the real story behind it is its parents. It’s (Kane) a cross between Domain and McKenzie.”
– TODD HYRA
A new upstart variety has finally pushed AC Barrie from its throne after 10 years as Manitoba’s most popular Red Spring wheat.
Manitoba farmers planted 468,770 acres of Kane last spring, versus 418,839 acres of AC Barrie, according to crop insurance data. (The Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation estimates 85 to 90 per cent of wheat seeded in Manitoba is insured, so crop insurance figures are lower than what was actually planted, but still the most accurate when it comes to reporting acres by variety.)
Since 2.4 million acres of wheat are covered by crop insurance this year, Kane accounts for 19 per cent of total plantings, while AC Barrie is at 17 per cent.
AC Barrie, which was registered in 1994, hit 1.05 million acres in 1998, accounting for 42 per cent of Manitoba’s Red Spring wheat acres just two years after going commercial.
In 1999, farmers planted almost 1.6 million acres of AC Barrie, accounting for a whooping 61 per cent of the wheat acres. That was the biggest year in percentage terms. AC Barrie acres peaked at 1.8 million in 2001.
Between 2000 and 2002 AC Barrie accounted for more than 50 per cent of Manitoba’s Red Spring wheat acres, falling to a third of them from 2003 to 2006.
AC Barrie was a breakthrough crop in that it was the first high-quality Red Spring milling wheat to go up in yield as well as protein, said Todd Hyra, of SeCan, which owns the rights to both varieties.
“Up until then if you had an increase in protein you typically saw a decrease in yield,” he said. “They didn’t go up together and Barrie broke that. That’s why it got big fast.”
AC Barrie, which was developed by Ron DePauw and other scientists at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, is also popular because of its “fair” tolerance rating for fusarium head blight, Hyra said. However, its weakness now is a lack of resistance to leaf rust.
Kane, which was developed by Stephen Fox and his colleagues at Agriculture Canada, has good leaf and stem rust resistance and like AC Barrie, is rated “Fair” for fusarium head blight tolerance. It also yields well, but has higher protein than some other wheats, Hyra said.
“That’s been in the dreams of Manitoba producers for a while,” he said.
“I think the real story behind it is its parents. It’s a cross between Domain and McKenzie.”
rAisinG KAne: Based on crop insurance data, Kane was the most planted Red Spring wheat variety in Manitoba this year overtaking AC Barrie, which has dominated the market for 10 years. SeCan’s Todd Hyra describes AC Barrie as “a breakthrough” crop. Kane has many attributes, including good leaf rust resistance.
McKenzie is known for its high yields, while AC Domain has a reputation for short, strong straw and good grade retention.
Hyra said it’s hard to say whether AC Barrie will quickly fall in acres or hang around like
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AC Domain, which is even older than AC Barrie, having been registered in 1992.
Last year, Manitoba farmers enrolled in crop insurance planted 367,812 acres of AC Domain, accounting for 17 per cent of the acres, placing it in second place behind AC Barrie.
This year farmers planted 326,691 acres of AC Domain, accounting for 14 per cent of the acres, putting it in fourth
Total Top 5 total
Total Top 10
Total crop insured red spring wheat
Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation
behind Kane, AC Barrie and Harvest.
“Based on our sales, Domain is still one of the top varieties from a certified seed use point of view,” Hyra said.
Even though AC Domain is rated “poor” for fusarium, many Manitoba farmers, including those in the disease-prone Red River Valley, continue to grow the variety using fungicides to ward off disease, Hyra said. [email protected]
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