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Ten new cereals for 2013

The new wheat, barley and oat varieties available to western farmers come with higher yield and improved disease resistance

There aren’t a lot of new cereal varieties coming to the western Canadian market in 2013, but many of the 10 wheat, barley and oat varieties being introduced have significant improvements in disease resistance and agronomic traits worth noting.

Both Syngenta and Canterra have new Canada Prairie Spring (CPS) varieties available in 2013. Canterra’s AC Conquer was available on a limited basis for 2012 and has much wider availability this year. Along with high yield and good agronomics, it also has wheat midge resistance.

Syngenta is releasing SY985 CPS wheat — one of the first high yielding CPS varieties — with milling quality comparable to a hard red spring wheat, says Todd Ormann, cereal portfolio manager for Syngenta. “Farmers can get the best of both worlds,” he says. “The potential for quality wheat, with all the yield that comes with CPS.”

Among SeCan’s new varieties, AC Vesper is a new Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat. It is the fourth midge-tolerant variety SeCan has introduced, and this one comes with a “real yield bump,” says Todd Hyra, SeCan’s business manager in Western Canada.

SeCan is also introducing AC Whitehawk, a hard white spring wheat which will be produced under IP contract through Richardson Pioneer. Hyra says Whitehawk has “a great quality profile” that really defines the hard white wheat class.

FP Genetics, based in Regina, has the only new durum variety for 2013. With good agronomics and an improved disease package, AC Transend apparently “sets a new standard” for amber durum on the Prairies.

SeCan’s CDC Carter barley has improved smut tolerance which may be of interest to a lot of farmers, but is of particular interest to organic growers, who aren’t able to use chemical fungicides.

And AC Bradley is a good all round white hulled milling oat. Although it was developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa, AC Bradley appears to have a very good fit in Western Canada, both yield-wise and agronomically.

The other new oat variety, CDC Seabiscuit, marketed by Canterra Seeds, is one of the newest milling oat varieties to come from the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre, with features that offer great promise for both farmers and processors.

Bob Mastin, a seed grower from Sundre, Alta., northwest of Calgary, has the only new winter wheat variety released in 2013. Pintail was developed by Alberta Agriculture breeders at Lacombe. “It is a great variety with the highest level of winter hardiness of all winter wheats,” says Mastin. “And it has the 20 to 25 per cent improved yield that winter wheats deliver over hard red spring wheat.” He was very impressed with a stand that produced many seven-inch long seed heads.


Here are five new wheat varieties reported by western Canadian seed companies available for commercial production in 2013.



The first high yielding Canada Prairie Spring Red wheat with milling quality.

A CPS variety with:

  •  medium milling quality;
  •  medium protein (meeting the needs of most milling wheat markets);
  •  higher milling quality than U.S. hard red winter wheat (the highest volume milling wheat type in the world); and,
  •  fast, strong and uniform emergence.

This variety has a high test weight, with excellent protein (up to one per cent higher than the pack of leading varieties), and excellent harvestability.

AC Conquer VB, CPSR

Canterra Seeds

AC Conquer VB is suited to all wheat growing areas of the western Prairies, in particular, areas where the orange wheat blossom midge occurs.

This is is the only CPSR that is resistant to wheat midge.

AC Conquer VB:

  •  has high yield potential;
  •  matures 0.5 of a day later than 5701PR and one day later than 5702PR; and,
  •  is rated R (resistant) to stem rust, bunt and stripe rust.

CDC Stanley, CWRS


CDC Stanley is high yielding, compared to AC Barrie: 118 per cent in Sask., 123 per cent in Alta., and 115 per cent in Man.

Disease package: R to stem rust, MR (moderately resistant) to leaf and stripe rust and general leaf spot complex, and I (intermediate resistance) to fusarium head blight. This seed has:

  •  good lodging resistance;
  •  maturity equal to Barrie;
  •  slightly lower protein; and,
  •  a good overall agronomic profile.

AC Vesper VB, CWRS


This second-generation midge- tolerant wheat provides high yield potential (120 per cent of AC Barrie), large seed and high test weight.

AC Vesper VB is ranked number one for yield in Saskatchewan and Manitoba seed guides.

A good seed supply is expected for 2013.

AC Whitehawk, CWHWS


AC Whitehawk is an improved quality hard white wheat with very early maturity (two days earlier than AC Barrie) and medium-short with strong straw.

Identity-preserved contracts are required through Richardson Pioneer.

Winter wheat

There is one new winter wheat variety available for 2013.

Pintail, AwnlessGP Winter Wheat

Mastin Seeds

This variety was developed by the Alberta Agriculture Field Crop Development Centre at Lacombe, Alta.

Pintail has the highest winter hardiness and highest yields of check varieties. Pintail winter wheat:

  •  is well adapted to the Parkland region;
  •  is resistant to stripe rust;
  •  has good lodging resistance;
  •  has moderate resistance to leaf spots and powdery mildew;
  •  has intermediate resistance to stem and leaf rust.

There is limited seed availability for 2013.


Grainews found only one new durum variety for 2013.

AC Transcend, CWAD

FP Genetics

AC Transcend is a new high- yielding Canadian Western Amber Durum with a strong agronomic package, low cadmium and excellent quality characteristics desired by end-users — good protein and strong color.

This variety is resistant to stem rust, leaf rust, common bunt and leaf spot and has improved fusarium head blight resistance. It also has good lodging resistance.


There is one new variety to consider for 2013.

CDC Carter, Two-row Hulless Barley


CDC Carter is a smut-resistant hulless barley with excellent threshability and a solid disease package. It makes a great fit for food or feed.

This variety is similar to CDC McGuire in yield and agronomics, but offers the advantage of smut resistance in a hulless variety.


There are two new oat varieties to check out for next spring.

AC Bradley, white hulled milling oat


This is a high-yielding, early-maturing white hulled variety, currently under milling evaluation.

AC Bradley is moderately susceptible to both leaf and stem rust. It provides short, strong straw and a reasonable disease package.

CDC Seabiscuit, White milling oat

Canterra Seeds

This variety is best suited to the non-rust areas of Western Canada.

CDC Seabiscuit exhibits high grain yield with an excellent milling yield and plump kernels. It is similar in maturity, height and test weight to AC Morgan, and has good straw strength.

It is rated MR to smut, and MR/MS (moderately susceptible) to stem rust. †

About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.



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