Production of spring wheat, oats and barley follows some rather rigid realities from one year to the next. It’s true that spring cereals are a tougher sell across most of Eastern Canada; there are more acres of soybeans or corn than there are of spring cereals combined. Yet it’s also a fact that those who do opt for spring wheat, oats and barley, and also rye, are good at growing them. They also have the buyers for their products, whether it’s hard red spring wheat varieties, a malting barley or an oat variety destined for food processing.
Add to that the recognition of value in the spring cereals sector. In 2015, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada hired a cereal breeder responsible for developing Eastern Canada varieties, while the University of Guelph created a chair of research for wheat development.
Also as reported in 2016, there are emerging market opportunities for malt barley growers in Eastern Canada. In spite of any in-season challenges to growing the crop, the consumer’s thirst for new taste sensations could have a longer-term impact that convinces more growers to try their hand at growing malt barley.
Even within the spring cereal sector, those who look for opportunity are likely to find it. To help inspire new directions and perhaps spark conversations, Country Guide offers this “What’s new?” feature on some of the newest spring cereal varieties. In all, four companies are showcasing their latest varieties, including two barley varieties, two oat varieties and two hard red spring wheats.
Remember to talk to your company representatives or retailers for more information on these varieties and others as the calendar continues turning towards the planting season ahead.
AAC Purpose is a new two-row barley, and is an exclusive for Bramhill Seeds. In the 2015 OCCC trials, it showed at two cm taller than Kings at 90 cm with excellent standability. Purpose is a variety that is easy to thrash. It has a one-year yield average in 2015 OCCC trials of 98 per cent.
AAC Vitality is a new six-row barley with a limited supply for 2017. Vitality has a slightly longer day maturity — four or five days longer. In the 2015 OCCC trials, it showed at 98 per cent of yield. It is a taller variety at 99 cm.
AAC Almonte is a new oat variety, also with a limited supply for 2017. It is a tan hull oat. AAC Almonte has excellent yield numbers — one-year of 111 per cent, two-year of 116 per cent and three-year of 112 per cent. The 2015 OCCC trials report its height at 118 cm.
Easton is a new hard red spring for the 2017 spring wheat season. It has proven to have very high yield potential during four years of testing. This variety features excellent yield potential, improved fusarium tolerance and short straw allowing for intensive management. Easton fits best into the eastern Ontario production region but has strong numbers in midwestern Ontario as well.
Dakosta is an awned hard red spring wheat variety suitable for milling or feed. It offers strong grain and straw yields, and also scores high for test weight. Official baking tests showed that Dakosta produces very good bread volumes and has high protein and falling numbers. Dakosta has above average fusarium head blight tolerance and it responds very well to a complete intensive management package.
Yield potential is touted by Secan for AAC Nicolas, its new milling oat variety. AAC Nicolas has out-yielded trial checks by 20 per cent in the last three years, and offers exceptional yield potential for Quebec and Northern Ontario producers. This white milling variety also has good lodging resistance and is approved by Quaker Oats.