Test yield categories | Yield Summarization Methods | Maturity Ratings | Plant Breeder's Rights | Canola | Diseases, seed treatment and seed testing
This publication provides information on cereal and oilseed variety performance within Alberta and northeastern British Columbia. Important agronomic characteristics are provided in tabular form for varieties of wheat, oat, barley, rye, triticale, flax and canola.
The Alberta Regional Variety Testing program is co-ordinated by the Alberta/British Columbia Grain Advisory Committee (ABCGAC) and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. Funding for the program is provided by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, the Alberta Seed Growers’ Association, the Association of Alberta Co-op Seed Cleaning Plants, the Alberta Wheat Commission and entry fees for the varieties being tested.
Data for this publication is contributed by numerous applied research associations, the Prairie Grain Development Committee, the Canola Council of Canada, CPS Canada Inc., Agriculture and Agri- Food Canada as well as Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. Every year, the test results and updated tables are reviewed and approved by members of the ABCGAC. Sincere thanks are extended to all individuals and organizations who contribute to this important publication.
Test Yield Categories
The defined range for each Yield Test Category is provided in bushels per acre. Variety yields are reported based on the site means relative to the check in two ways:
Test Yield Categories allow producers to fine tune their variety choices for the productivity levels expected in particular fields in the coming season. This approach is similar to that used when making decisions on the levels for other inputs. Scientific studies conducted on crop varieties in Western Canada show that Test Yield Category analysis provides a more stable description of variety yield performance than descriptions organized by geographic groupings.
- As the overall average yield for all data available to the AB/BC testing program, with the number of site-years of data indicated. When there are limited data for a new variety, yield information may only appear in the Overall Yield column.
- As the average yields in Low, Medium, High and Very High Test Yield Categories for comparison with the check for productivity regimes and environments that may be anticipated. Varieties that are statistically higher (+) or lower (–) yielding than the standard check are also indicated. No symbol after the yield figure indicates that there is no statistical difference. Caution is advised when interpreting the data with respect to new varieties that have not been fully tested.
To make effective use of the yield comparison tables, producers first need to assess a realistic target yield for the season and determine if it fits within the Low, Medium, High and Very High Test Yield categories. It should be noted that the indicated yield levels are those from small plot trials, which are often 15 to 20 per cent higher than yields expected under commercial production.
Also remember that yield is not the only factor that affects net return. Be sure to consider the other important agronomic and disease resistance characteristics. The genetic yield potential of a variety is often masked by various crop management factors, some of which can be controlled.
For more information, please visit Alberta Agriculture’s website, Ropin’ the Web: www.agriculture.alberta.ca/rvt
Yield Summarization Methods
For cereal crops, yield data is expressed on the basis of varying environmental productivity (Test Yield Categories of Low, Medium, High and Very High). Experience has shown that yield rankings can change substantially due to growing conditions. To reflect these differences and make the data more useful to producers, results from a test site that produced high yield in a particular year are now placed into the database for ‘high’ yielding environments. That same site may contribute to the ‘low’ yielding category in a drought year, when yields are low.
Consistent performance over all productivity environments indicates that the variety has good yield stability over a wide range of environments. For new varieties where data are insufficient to provide reasonable estimates of yield performance in each Yield Test Category, the overall provincial yield is a first indication of the yield potential relative to the check.
It is important to note that many of the comparisons in the tables are not direct comparisons. Small plot agronomic trials are expensive to grow, and new varieties are registered every year. It is simply impractical to grow all the varieties at the same time. Following several years of data collection, the yield data for a particular variety will stabilize relative to the standard check and testing will no longer be warranted. It is for this reason that the same standard reference check varieties are grown every year (e.g. AC Barrie for CWRS wheat, AC Metcalfe for barley), and changes do not occur very often. This means that the only direct comparison producers can be sure of is with that of the reference check. The “number of station-years” column provides some indication of the unbalanced nature of the data.
To help aid in the selection process, varieties that have yielded statistically higher (+) or lower (-) than the standard check are indicated. If a large difference from the check is reported but is not significant, this could mean the yields of the new variety have varied widely
and/or there still is not enough data to prove a statistical difference. In all cases, for the yield data to be presented, there must be a total of at least six station-years of data collected over two years. With additional years of testing, the reported yield differences will become more precise.
Variety choice should not be based solely on yield in a specific Yield Test Category. Producers are encouraged to consider other characteristics, such as maturity, straw strength and disease resistance when considering a new variety. In addition, factors such as expected growth season rainfall, soil moisture status, disease forecasts, soil fertility and weed pressure will affect the specific Yield Test Category in which actual yields will occur.
As is the case for yield, growing conditions have a tremendous influence on maturity. For example, a variety of CWRS wheat may mature in 98 days in Lethbridge, but take 103 days in Edmonton. In addition, a two-day difference in maturity between varieties in Lethbridge may amount to a five-day difference in Edmonton.
To take this factor into account, maturity is now expressed using a five-category scale: Very Early, Early, Medium, Late and Very Late. To aid producers with this relative scale, the average number of days to maturity for the standard check is reported. Note that this scale is different for each crop type. For example, an early barley variety will mature much earlier than an early flax variety.
Plant Breeder’s Rights
The use of Plant Breeder’s Rights logo indicates a variety is protected by law, and seed of this variety cannot be sold without permission and royalty payment. The use of the logo indicates that PBR has been applied for.
The Alberta Cereal and Oilseed Advisory Committee does not take any responsibility for accuracy or validity of the canola performance data.
Diseases, Seed Treatment and Seed Testing
Disease ratings are compiled from various data sources in Alberta and other Prairie Provinces.
Laboratories participating in the FHB testing program:
- Treat rye and flax seed to control seedling blight, cereal seed for smuts and fusarium, canola seed to control flea beetle, seedling blight and the seed-borne phase of virulent blackleg.
- Treated seed must not be fed to livestock, poultry or wildlife or sold for feed. Refer to labels for maximum storage periods of treated seed.
- The leaf spot rating in the wheat charts is a combination of resistance to tan spot and septoria leaf disease complex.
- Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused by Fusarium graminearum, is an increasing problem in Alberta. The relative ranking of crops from most susceptible to least susceptible is durum, CPS wheat, CWRS wheat, triticale, barley and oat. Corn is a host of F. graminearum and can serve as a source of infection when residue is left on the ground. Under severe epidemics, all cereal varieties will suffer damage. All seed, especially seed brought in from infected areas of the Eastern Prairies, should be tested for the presence of FHB and treated with an appropriate seed treatment. Producers are advised to choose varieties with the best FHB tolerance whenever possible and always use best management practices to slow the spread of this disease.
- All seed of cereal varieties tested in the Alberta Regional Variety Testing program comes with a “fusarium-free” certificate. In addition, all regional trials are inspected for the disease at the most susceptible stage.
Other Variety Information
- 20/20 Seed Labs Ltd., Nisku, Alta., 1-877-420-2099
- BioVision Seed Research Ltd., Edmonton, Alta., 1-800-952-5407
- BioVision Seed Research Ltd., Grande Prairie, Alta., 1-877-532-8889
- Parkland Laboratories, Red Deer, Alta., (403) 342-0404
- Precision Seed Testing, Beaverlodge, Alta., (780) 354-2259
- Seed Check Technologies Inc., Leduc, Alta., (780) 980-8324
For additional variety information, including varieties not listed in this factsheet, check the Alberta Agriculture website or call the Alberta Ag-Info Centre toll-free at 310-FARM (3276). Website: www.agriculture.alberta.ca
All tables prepared, reviewed and approved by:
Alberta/British Columbia Grain Advisory Committee
To view variety tables click here
Factsheet and data preparation coordinated by
Co-ordinator Regional Variety Trials/Crop Research Technologist
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
Source: Agdex 100/32. January 2014.