Wheat School: Could an Owner's Manual Accompany Your Next New Variety?


You may vary inputs based on field history or soil type, but have you considered treating your wheat differently, based on variety?

It turns out that there are significant differences between how varieties respond to nitrogen, fungicide, and plant growth regulators. How a variety performs depends not just on its age, but where the background genetic material was sourced from.

Sheri Strydhorst, agronomic research scientist with Alberta Agriculture & Forestry, has been comparing bare-bones vs. full-bore management of 12 wheat lines and has found some surprising results. As an example, Strydhorst’s research showed that some varieties simply MUST have a fungicide to perform, that another is nitrogen hungry (but it pays!), and, perhaps most interesting, one variety is so thrifty, you could save more than $90/acre on inputs.

“We’d love to get to the point where when you buy your certified seed, you’d get a tip sheet that tells you how best to manage that variety,” she says in the Wheat School below:

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