Fusarium-tolerant U.S. wheat approved in Canada

A limited amount of a North Dakota-bred spring wheat with “fair” tolerance to fusarium head blight is expected to be available to Prairie growers this spring.

Winnipeg-based seed company Canterra Seeds, which has the exclusive Canadian marketing rights to Glenn wheat, confirmed in a release Monday that Glenn has picked up Canadian registration as a Canadian Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat.

Glenn was recommended for registration as a CWRS by the Prairie Recommending Committee for Wheat, Rye and Triticale (WRT) during the Prairie Grain Development Committee’s (PGDC) annual meeting in Banff on Feb. 26.

Canterra said Monday it will work with Winnipeg-based grain company Richardson International to launch Glenn, which is protected under Plant Breeder Rights (PBR) in Canada and Plant Variety Protection (PVP) in the U.S.

Seed for Glenn is to be available in
“limited quantity” this spring through Canterra’s authorized seed growers, the company said.

Glenn came to Canterra by way of its relationship with the North Dakota State University Research Foundation. NDSU developed Glenn as a high-yielding, short, strong-strawed, leaf-rust-resistant, awned Dark Northern Spring (DNS) wheat with a “fair” rating for tolerance to fusarium.

“Glenn’s addition to the market will greatly benefit farmers,” Canterra CEO Richard Kieper said in the company’s release Monday. “We strongly encourage all farmers to buy certified seed to allow for the continued reinvestment in cutting edge genetics.”

Rick Rutherford, who farms at Grosse Isle, about 20 km northwest of Winnipeg, and represented Winter Cereals Canada on the WRT committee, told the Manitoba Co-operator‘s Allan Dawson that he predicts Glenn “will become the dominant wheat in all of Manitoba, because fusarium isn’t isolated to the Red River Valley.”

Glenn, Rutherford said, “is the first variety that has the ability to knock AC Barrie off its peg.”

As well, there’s lots of certified Glenn seed in North Dakota to supply Manitoba farmers for seeding this spring, but Rutherford warned it’s illegal for Canadian farmers to import Glenn from the U.S., as well as for U.S. farmers to sell Glenn to Canadian farmers, Rutherford said in the Co-operator March 5.

Glenn’s Canadian registration makes it the first U.S. DNS to get full registration in Western Canada. North Dakota spring wheats Alsen and Grandin received interim registrations in the early 2000s and 1990s, respectively, but both were later withdrawn because neither turned out to meet CWRS quality standards.

North Dakota farmers grew more than six million acres of Glenn last year, accounting for 28 per cent of the state’s spring wheat acres. According to an NDSU report, Glenn yields averaged 73 and 45.3 bushels an acre last year in eastern and western North Dakota, respectively. Protein averaged 15.9 per cent.

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