Synopsis: Using the provincial performance trials to pick the top variety for your farm.
By now you should have looked at the wheat variety trials (www.gocereals.ca). What an AMAZING amount of information. With new information, and combined charts, which table should you actually use?
Managed or normal? For the first time ever (2013), there are variety comparisons using fungicides, or “managed”(Tables 1A, 2A, 3A, 6A). The exact yield is less important than the “rankings”, or which variety finishes first, fourth, or last. In the soft red class, there is little difference in rankings between “managed” and the standard management. However, in the soft white and hard red class, there are HUGE switches in which variety is at the top depending on management. Finally field results begin to make more sense. Growers love varieties like 25W43, or Priesley. That is because they spray these varieties, and that vaults them into the top grouping in their class. If you are a regularly apply fungicides, use the “managed” charts (“A” designation).
Area 1/2 or my own area? Each year we generate biplots to determine if varieties react the same from site to site. ALMOST NEVER do the sites from Area I and Area II break out into those geographic areas. In 2013, everything matched up nearly perfectly: for all sites with the exception of Ottawa (area III), Palmerston (areaII) and Woodslee (area I). Palmerston and Ottawa paired with each other, and Woodslee was off all by itself, with variety rankings essentially unrelated to all the other sites. Go figure!
The more data you have to look at, the more likely you will pick a winning variety year in and year out. It is called “wide area adaptability”. For most of the province, use the Area I/II combined data (Table 1/1A at www.gocereals.ca ). For the Ottawa valley, area III really is different, as winterkill and icing are much greater problems there.
We go to a lot of effort to generate this information. You might as well use it the best you can, and in that way, you will PICK TOP GENETICS!