2021 crop plans and seed purchases are in motion. If Spring Wheat is on your list to grow this year, then read through and hear our views on positioning varieties
NOTE: If your on farm experience is different from the suggestion below, please tell us, we would love to hear your comments.
This year, as in most years, there were challenges to growing the spring wheat crop. There was a chance for early seeding in some areas, but in general terms, if you didn’t seed it early, you did not have a positive experience with spring wheat yields. Much of the crop was greatly impacted by the extreme heat in June, at flowering, and the yield was reduced by impacting the grains per head. Understanding we will never control the weather, one of our choices to influence yield is the variety that we grow.
First of all, for growers with experience with Easton variety, mostly in eastern Ontario, please be advised that Easton is no longer for sale. We have other solid options. Here is our breakdown for four decision factors for performance in Ontario.
In Eastern Ontario – the choice is Raven or Furano
Yield: Raven will give the most yield, Furano has a consistent fan club.
Protein: Furano will give best protein and quality, but Raven has ability to be managed for protein also.
Straw Volumes: Raven and Furano will provide very similar straw volumes.
Standability: Raven will tiller well, and if it is planted thick with strong fertility, lodging may occur. Consider a PGR
In Northern Ontario and Midwestern Ontario – the choice is Raven or Wilkin
Yield: Raven should have a slim advantage over Wilkin for yield.
Protein: In most cases, Raven will have small protein advantage over Wilkin but both need to be managed for protein also. Split Application of N and S are strongly encouraged.
Straw Volumes: Raven will provide more straw than Wilkin.
Standability: Raven will tiller well, and if it is planted thick with strong fertility, lodging may occur. Consider a PGR. Wilkin has good natural standability.
If you have space and capacity to grow more than one variety, that is a good strategy also, that way you can spread out some flowering dates and harvest dates too. Please be advised to pay attention to your seed size this year also. The seed size is dramatically smaller in some cases, monitor your populations accordingly.