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Look beyond your yield

Agronomy tips... from the field

When it comes to cereal seed selection, it’s easy to default to the variety with the highest provincial average yield. But what’s good province-wide might not be best for your farm.

Instead, decide are what the most important attributes to you. Besides yield, is it protein, fusarium head blight (FHB) tolerance, rust tolerance, lodging, maturity or something else entirely? (So, for instance, if you’re in a high-risk FHB area, looking for MR- or R-rated varieties is wise.) Also, remember to consider where you plan to sell your wheat; make sure you have potential buyers. Use provincial seed guide summaries for their unbiased, high-level view of variety attributes.

Once you find some varieties with the general characteristics you desire, then you can start to look at the yield potential. Hone in on local trial data from the seed guide, seed companies and seeds salespeople for data specific to your area. And don’t rely on just one year’s worth of data. Varieties respond differently to the weather. You want varieties that perform consistently over multiple years.

As a long-term strategy, commit to growing small acres of a new variety each year, to test its performance for yourself.

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