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New Fusarium Resistant Winter Wheat on the Horizon

30 April 2012

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CANADA - The executive manager of Winter Cereals Canada expects a new fusarium resistant variety of winter wheat to be available to farmers in 2013.

A new fusarium head blight resistant variety of winter wheat, developed by Dr. Robert Graf with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge, is expected to be available in 2013.

Winter Cereals Canada executive manager Jake Davidson says winter wheat typically yields 15 percent or more higher than spring wheat depending on variety and we have new varieties that are particularly suited for feed and the ethanol industry.

Jake Davidson said: "They are high starch varieties, a lot of energy in them. Protein isn't a big thing with them, they're usually below ten percent but they have excellent energy content which is quite a plus for the feed industry, the hog industry, because energy is an expensive ingredient so it's interesting to watch these varieties."

"We have some new varieties coming out that are just in the stages of being reseeded this year so we can have enough within a year for retail sale."

"We have actually one new variety that has been rated as fusarium resistant which is very important because fusarium is a problem throughout Manitoba with wheat going into swine feed."

"It's not much of a problem when you get into Saskatchewan except for the eastern edge."

"Fusarium of course in Manitoba is a big problem because Falcon which is the main variety grown here is not at all fusarium resistant and we have some new varieties that are very close to Falcon in agronomic properties but it is fusarium resistant and also will meet a milling quality so it gives the producer an alternative to go either the food trade or the feed trade."

Mr Davidson expects the new fusarium resistant variety to be available in 2013 which coincides with the Canadian Grain Commission's downgrading of some hard red winter wheats into the general purpose class.

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