Canada Prairie Spring (CPS) wheat has not been popular in Manitoba because of disease issues, but this year insured acres jumped a staggering 1,419 per cent.
That translates into an extra 55,547 acres — small compared to insured winter wheat (134,307) and feed wheat (374,131) acres, but it’s a huge jump when compared to last year’s paltry 3,914 acres of CPS varieties.
And it’s all because of SeCan’s new variety AAC Penhold, which accounts for 99 per cent of Manitoba’s 2016 CPS acres.
“There are three things that make it (AAC Penhold) a really neat fit and will probably encourage more growth (in Manitoba),” Todd Hyra, SeCan’s Western Canada business manager said in an interview Aug. 18.
First there’s straw strength, which is even better than CWRS wheat varieties. Secondly, it’s short — shorter even than the varieties Carberry or Brandon. Thirdly, it has an MR (moderate resistance) to fusarium head blight.
“It’s the first-ever CPS to have all of those parts put together at the same time,” Hyra said. “Traditionally CPS didn’t work (in Manitoba) because the disease package wasn’t there. The overall disease package on AAC Penhold is very good and the anchor to that is the MR rating for fusarium.”
Moreover, the new CPS wheats have higher milling and baking quality than earlier varieties. And AAC Penhold also has high yield potential.
“I would give it a 10 per cent yield bump over CWRS wheats like Carberry,” Hyra said.
MASC’s Management Plus shows on almost 2,200 acres of AAC Penhold harvested in Manitoba last year, yield averaged 64 bushels an acre. Carberry averaged 48 on more than 518,000 acres. A seed grower in Alberta saw AAC Penhold averaged 140 bushels an acre, Hyra said.
Several American Dark Northern Spring wheats, now registered in Canada’s new Canada Northern Hard Red (CNHR) class, are popular in Manitoba because of their high yield potential. Todd expects AAC Penhold can compete with them because of its resistance to lodging and better tolerance to fusarium.
“Often we are seeing now straw height and straw management and lodging resistance has become a more important characteristic than pure yield,” he said.
“I think it (AAC Penhold) will find its way into spec shipments because the CPS red is another premium class like CWRS and the protein on Penhold is actually quite high so any of it blended in CNHR shipments would improve it.”