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Muchmore Raises Yield Bar

Ron DePauw takes his time when naming new spring wheat varieties. He wants a name to have significance, to pay homage to those whose work the variety represents or a place-name where he hopes the variety will do well.

When it came time to name the latest two lines out of DePauw’s program at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC’s) Semiarid Prairie Agriculture Research Centre, the wheat breeder didn’t mince words. Carberry (BW874), with its significant improvement of fusarium tolerance is destined for that AC Barrieloving province of Manitoba, and Muchmore (BW875) is just that — so much more when it comes to yield.

“Muchmore blew everything else out of the water in relation to yield,” DePauw says. “It yielded 15 per cent better than AC Barrie and four per cent more than Superb (a parent line of Muchmore), with similar protein and maturity to Superb.” Muchmore has shorter straw than Superb and is stronger, with a good test weight and smaller kernel size than Superb.

The drawback for Muchmore, if there is one, is that it doesn’t fare as well in the face of fusarium. “It is moderately susceptible to fusarium, making it a better fit for the western Prairies than the east,” DePauw says.

Carberry will have those who battle fusarium annually raising eyebrows over not just its moderately resistant rating, but also its half a percentage point protein bump over Superb with the same yield. “Barrie rates about an intermediate in its resistance to fusarium and Carberry fared better,” DePauw says, however he stresses that it is still not fully resistant.

“Carberry also yielded 15 per cent higher than AC Barrie, but with higher protein, and it has the highest test weight of any of the lines,” he says, meaning farmers get paid more per truckload simply because of this increased seed density. The variety also has shorter and stronger straw than Superb, with the same maturity.

Both varieties are resistant to prevalent races of leaf and stem rust, common bunt and loose smut. All lines must be resistant to these diseases to get DePauw’s stamp of approval and move forward in the breeding program, something that can still be a challenge.

TAKE WHEAT TO ANOTHER LEVEL

Carberry and Muchmore are worth keeping an eye out for. “These varieties are a step change for spring wheat,” DePauw says. The progress made with the introduction of these two new varieties is going to take significant time and investment to reach the next level, so much so that DePauw won’t put any new lines forward for registration in 2010. Carberry and Muchmore, he says, are the new standard for fusarium tolerance and yield potential respectively.

Carberry and Muchmore have received registration from CFIA and will continue through seed multiplication in 2010 and 2011. Farmers should have access to the variety commercially in the fall of 2011 for planting in 2012. Farmers can contact SeCan for Carberry seed and FP Genetics for Muchmore, when the time comes.

Lyndsey Smith is a field editor for Grainews. She lives in Lumsden, Sask.

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