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Clearing Up The Confusion Over Winter Wheat Classification

When the Canadian Grain Commission announced new classes and declassification of certain winter wheat varieties in 2010 and repeated the same in 2011, some farmers were scrambling to secure seed supplies, fearing their favourite winter wheat varieties would disappear. Most notably, CDC Falcon, a popular variety in Manitoba, is listed as moving to the General Purpose class, which means a loss of the milling premium. It will move classes, yes, but not until there are ample seed supplies of an equivalent variety available. Until that time, CDC Falcon will remain a Select winter wheat variety.


Brent Derkatch, director, operations and business development at Canterra Seeds at Winnipeg, Man., says the confusion and problem arose because although changes were announced, the actual Select wheat quality type of varieties coming on the market are still one to two years away.

The other confusion was around deregistration of the varieties versus declassification, he saus. The industry is not deregistering the varieties, but moving them to a different class.

Pam de Rocquigny, cereal specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, agrees there was some confusion over the dates and types of varieties as far as winter wheat is concerned. She says it looks like there will be some general varieties available to Manitoba farmers in the coming years. The Manitoba Crop Variety Evaluation Team, MCVET, the group responsible for post registration and variety trials in Manitoba is evaluating two varieties, Flourish and Moats, both distributed by SeCan should become commercially available in 2013.

The CGC has stated it will extend the transition period for CDC Falcon if insufficient alternative varieties are available to Manitoba farmers.

CDC Falcon will be around, in our minds, probably through 2014 season, says Todd Hyra, SeCan s business manager for Western Canada.

In reference to the confusion, Hyra says currently there are three classes for red winter wheat, but going forward on August 1, 2013, there will be two classes. All Generic varieties in the CWRW class will move to the CWGP class. All Select varieties will remain in the CWRW class.

Hyra says CDC Falcon has been a mainstay for the eastern Prairies making up over 60 per cent (73 per cent in 2011 marketing season) of the Manitoba market almost since its release in the late 1990s, mainly due to its short stature.


While CDC Falcon will continue as the mainstay in Manitoba, the product we feel will be one of the first replacements is AC Flourish, Hyra says. Developed by Ag Canada researchers in Lethbridge, we see it as the fit for the replacement for Falcon at least the first one in the eastern prairies.

The height of Flourish is similar to Falcon, maybe an inch taller, equally strong or a bit stronger straw, equal maturity and the yield on the eastern Prairies is slightly higher than Falcon based on the co-op data. It is eligible for the select category which becomes the new red winter class, says Hyra.

SeCan also has distribution rights to Moats, similar in stature and maturity to Buteo, but with a six percent yield advantage over CDC Buteo.

According to Derkatch, Canterra Seeds is launching AC Broadview this fall, a general purpose type with excellent yield and very good lodging and rust resistance.

We re also planning to launch W454 (yet to be named) to the market in 2014, he says. This variety is a CWRW, that is resistant to fusarium and has received much attention from the media and farmers alike. From what I m told, it s the only wheat variety to be recommended for registration in Western Canada that has been given an R rating for fusarium.

HarrySiemensisafarmjournalist,freelance writer,speakerandbroadcasterbasedat Winkler,Man.Visithiswebsiteat, oremailhimat [email protected]

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