AC Andrew, a soft white spring wheat variety developed by the late Sadash Sadasivaiah at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lethbridge Research Centre, has been selected as the 2014-15 winner of the Seed of the Year West award.
“AC Andrew was a major breakthrough in terms of grain yield in the soft white spring wheat,” Harpinder S. Randhawa, current soft white breeder at AAFC Lethbridge and the nominator of AC Andrew said in a release.
Randhawa received the award Feb. 25, 2015 at the Prairie Grain Development Recognition Luncheon in Banff on behalf of Sadasivaiah, who passed away in 2005.
AC Andrew, registered in 2000, has a reputation for high yield in both high- and low-input cropping systems and became the predominant cultivar for ethanol feedstock in 2006. AC Andrew was a key factor in the emerging ethanol industry as it offered as much as 20 per cent higher yield and greater ethanol yield per volume of grain compared to other wheat cultivars.
Seed of the Year is designed to provide recognition to publicly developed varieties that have made a significant contribution to the economy, agriculture, and the Canadian public in general.
Part of the western award is a $4,000 scholarship, awarded to a student enrolled in a western Canadian university and currently completing a master’s degree or PhD in plant breeding or genetics. Kirby Nilsen, a graduate student at the University of Saskatchewan, received this year’s award. His research is focused on breeding for resistance to the wheat stem sawfly, specifically looking at the stem-solidness trait in durum and spring wheat.
Seed of the Year West is sponsored by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Alberta Barley Commission, Canterra Seeds, Cargill, Canadian Seed Growers Association, FP Genetics, CPS Canada, Richardson International, SeCan and the Western Grains Research Foundation.