Ontario wheat performance trials are the first to add fungicides as part of the evaluation package.
Years ago, no one sprayed wheat, barely even with a herbicide. Today, if you don’t spray a fusarium fungicide on your wheat crop, you aren’t a real wheat farmer. And the fusarium issues with #Harvest13 have really driven this point home.
Performance trials are meant to “mirror” the management practices of growers. In 2010, the Ontario Cereal Crop Committee (OCCC) realized that the cereal performance trials needed to address this issue. We began include “managed” (fungicides applied) in with our normal unsprayed trials. The effort was to determine if the rankings of the varieties changed.
While the relative rankings did not change much, in certain cases it made a significant impact. In 2013, it was decided to continue these trials with financial support from Grain Farmers of Ontario, Cribit Seeds, Szentimery Seeds, Bayer, Syngenta, and BASF. For the first time in Ontario, and as far as I am aware, the first time in North America, both managed and unmanaged data is available! A HUGE win for producers.
Just go to the OCCC website, www.gocereals.ca and look at the “Variety Trials Page”. Table 1A and 2A show the relative yields of both sprayed and unsprayed trials. Check it out, and pick the best variety for the management options you apply.