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The Cropwalker - Winter Cereal Edition

The Cropwalker - Winter Cereal Edition

By Jonathan Zettler CPA, CMA, CCA-ON and Patrick Lynch CCA-ON


Fall 2022 Seed Selection
Thank you to those that have put time and effort into Ontario cereals, it has paid big dividends for the 2022 crop. A summary of top genetics and a few suggestions on management practices in one place.
Largest Self-Induced Yield Limiting Factors in Winter Wheat

In no particular order.
1.     Seeding Date. Check OCC website at bottom of page for Optimum Planting date in your area.

2.    Lack of starter phosphorus fertilizer. Soil testing is an imperfect science and cannot account for all weather conditions or soil fertility scenarios. Starter phosphorus puts a floor under your yield potential. It is 4x more efficient vs broadcast on a per pound of P basis when it comes to yield response. Use a minimum of 30 lbs. /ac P2O5.

3.    Uneven spreading of previous crop (soybean) residue when trying to no-till wheat.

4.    Improper drill maintenance, leading to an open seed trench and hair pinning and, in some situations,’ uneven depth control (JD seed boots).

5.    Shallow planting leads to heaving, open seed trench. (I like to see 1.5" inches, when this occurs on the soils I work with, I see less winterkill/heaving in the spring).

6.    Lack of awareness on thousand kernel weight (TKW) to set the drill to seeds per acre, rather than pounds per acre.

7.     Use of improper seed rate for the time of year/yield potential. The plant will put out less tillers if you have adequate seed. Tiller heads contribute less to yield than main heads in winter wheat, out of everything you do to maximize yield potential in wheat, getting the right seeding rate is mission critical (adjust based on planting date!).

8.    Fall weed control – winter barley/wheat should start with a clean, weed free seed bed in the fall.

9.    Tillage before planting can increase yields. But if you bury white mould sclerotia expect worse white mould in the future.
Winter Barley

LCS Calypso is a newer 2-row winter barley with strong yields and malting quality. It has shown good winter hardiness relative to Branson SRW wheat in trials over the past two years, and in seed production has anecdotally had better winter survival than previously marketed winter barley varieties. Winter barley registration trials were initiated in fall 2019 to offer new and improved winter barley varieties to Ontario growers. LCS Calypso is the first available variety to the Ontario market to have come through these registration trials. Here are two photos from the winter barley registration trial at Wabash in 2021 – June 1 and June 29. LCS Calypso is on the left and SU Ruzena (another new 2-row winter barley from SeCan which is available for fall 2022) is on the right.
June 1st - LCS Calypso on left, SU Ruzena on right
June 29th - LCS Calypso on left, SU Ruzena on right
SU Ruzena is a new 2-row winter feed barley available from SeCan. Similar to LCS Calypso, another SeCan winter barley variety, SU Ruzena has improved winter hardiness and grain yield relative to previously marketed winter barley varieties in the province. It has a slightly shorter plant height and better standability compared to LCS Calypso and is well suited to intensive management.
May 24th, 2021 - SU Ruzena plot at Cribit Seeds, Winterbourne, ON
Winter Wheat Variety Summary
A summary of current market offerings for fall 2022. Focus is on new genetics. Typically, suppliers report strong demand for some of these products, so if you have not firmed up your wheat seed needs, now is the time.

For most wheat classes, you can essentially divide what most suppliers have into two, maybe three categories. The first two are what I would call wheat for typical management and are subdivided for winter survival purposes into poorly drained or well drained genetics. From my experience, the poorly drained wheat genetics tends to tiller more in the spring, to make up for plant stand mortality. Under normal conditions where higher levels of stand mortality are not a concern, these tillers tend to be a hinderance, and lead to increased lodging.

A third category would be those looking for a wheat that responds to high levels of management.
Soft White Winter
Nothing new for the 2022 season in the soft white category. Most common varieties by supplier.


Ava (awnless) - Excellent yielding, sprout resistant relative to other SWW varieties. Sound agronomics that responds to slightly higher seeding rates.


25W38 (awned) – Excellent lodging score with strong disease package. Short variety.


AC Mountain - High yields, good quality and excellent tolerance to barley yellow dwarf virus.
Soft Red Winter

BR700SRW (awned) This is an early variety with high test weight and yield potential, Yield perf = 103% of registration checks in the OCCC trials. This product is much shorter than anything in the Brevant lineup, translating to above average lodging resistance. Very high level of FHB resistance and low DON accumulation - Ranked #1 in the 2-year avg as the most resistant variety in the inoculated OCCC trials! The only watch out is leaf blights and powdery mildew, for which this product is classified as moderately susceptible. Registered in Ontario in January 2022.

B654SRW (awnless) – best adapted to areas 1 and 2, medium tall plant, excellent winter survival and stripe rust resistance. Early maturity and stable yields across multiple years. Responds to intensive management. Try this variety if you have been happy with Branson in the past.

Branson (awnless) – adapted to all areas, short to medium tall plant. Has been a standard on many farms that have grown SRW.

DS572SRW (awned) – a mid to full maturity wheat, adapted to zones 1 to 3. if you have grown Emmit in the past, this is its replacement. Excellent winter survival, seed, and test weight. Largest seed out of all varieties in the Brevant lineup. Order early to avoid disappointment.
C&M Seeds

Blaze (awned) – Excellent yields with great winter survival. FHB1 gene (prevents secondary infection) for excellent fusarium tolerance. Strong stripe rust. Small seeded for seed cost savings. Medium plant height with great standability and lots of straw. If you are an organic grower, look for this one (due to strong fusarium tolerance). Well suited to all soil types and regions. Responds well to PGR.

Hilliard (awned) – C&M is recommending this racehorse on high fertility and intensive management farms. It has very fast emergence with an excellent disease package. Medium plant height with decent standability. Lots of bright straw, expected to respond to intensive management. Position on loam and clay loam soils in early part of seeding window. Responds well to PGR.

Cruze (awned) – Has traditionally done very well in area 1. Responds very well to management. Early maturing. If pushing N rates, consider split N application or a growth regulator to keep it upright. With aggressive tillering, position on clay, clay-loam, and loam soils in area 1 and 2.  Responds well to PGR. Monitor for powdery mildew pressure early. Monitor first if stripe rust becomes an issue.

25R64 (awned) – New for fall 2022, limited release. Earlier flowering than 25R40, with Pioneer’s rating of Moderate Resistant to fusarium head blight (has FHB genetics). Good standability with closer to 25R61 height. Suitable for your high management acres with good winter hardiness.

25R74 (awned) – 25R40 performance with stronger fusarium tolerance; shorter; more likely to respond to late season management for growers wanting to manage with multiple passes. Use typical seeding rates based upon calendar date and ground conditions.

Please note that R61 is rated moderately resistant, and R72 is rated moderately susceptible in the OCCC trials for fusarium tolerance. R40 has a highly susceptible rating on the trials.

Continue to offer 25R40 (awned).

Secan members have offered the following the past few years.

Emperor (awnless) - Average heading date and good milling quality. Medium to tall plant height with good standability and straw yields. Solid choice for producers who are looking for more straw than is produced by shorter statured winter wheat varieties on the market.

Secord (awned) - Strong yield potential. Has a medium plant height, good stripe rust tolerance, acceptable winter survival, and adaptability to all winter wheat production areas of Ontario.

OAC Constellation (awned) - is an awned SRW wheat developed by the winter wheat breeding program at the University of Guelph. It is strong straw with a short to medium plant height. From a disease perspective it is moderately susceptible to FHB and has excellent resistance to stripe rust. Below is a photo comparison of plant type versus Secord – OAC Constellation is on the left and Secord is on the right. This was taken on July 15, 2020 at a field near Cambridge, where high pedigree seed plots of both varieties were grown under the same management conditions.

Snobelen Farms

Marker (awnless) – Consistently top yield performer. Responds very well to intensive management. Highest rating for FHB resistance. Earlier heading. Small seed for seed cost savings.
Hard Red Winter
C&M Seeds

C&M positions both Adrianus and Pro81 as having yields comparable to soft red wheats, while maintaining a stronger protein profile when grown with intensive management.

Adrianus (awned) – It is medium-tall, with awns, and excellent plant health. It is a later maturing variety and gives a nice plump clean grain sample. Very good natural standability. (If you have grown Priesley and are looking for the next generation of Hard Red, consider Adrianus.) Suitable for all soil types. Provides very large straw volumes. PGR rates and reactions are still under investigation, use with caution.

Pro 81 (awned) – It has a strong natural leaf disease package, and it looks like Gallus, but yields more! Medium-tall plant height, with aggressive tillering leading to impressive and dense canopy. Small seed size makes it easier to plant high populations. Rated as suitable for all soil types and regions. Responds well to PGR.

Lexington (awned) – Medium-tall plant height. Strong in Area III trials rate it better for winter survival and straw yields. Very high quality grain sample. Plump seed with class leading protein ability. Impressive plant canopy with large, plump kernels. Monitor for powdery mildew in early season. Suitable for area 2 and 3.  2022 may be final year for sale as we observe stronger performance from PRO81 and Adrianus.

Champlain (awned) – This large size seeded variety has a high protein profile and high test weight rating. The variety is one of the tallest on the market with high straw yield index ratings. Given the lodging score, it is a candidate for PGR and fungicide use. Watch for leaf rust. Rated susceptible for FHB/DON, strongly consider FHB fungicide application.

Montcalm (awnless) – This moderately sized seed has a moderate to high test weight ratings and a moderate protein profile. It is a tall variety with a high straw index rating. Lodging score suggests PGR and fungicide use would be prudent. Watch early season for Septoria. Earliest maturing HRW in the OCCC trials. Rated moderated susceptible for FHB/DON.
Eastern Feed Wheat

Frontenac (awnless) – The only variety in the feed wheat class, this medium size seed variety has a high strong straw index rating. Given the lodging score, it is a candidate for PGR and fungicide use. Rated moderately susceptible for FHB and moderately resistant for DON. Excellent winter survival and easy to harvest.
Hybrid Rye
C&M continues to offer Brasetto Hybrid Rye. This hybrid is suitable for sandy or lighter soil textures where having adequate moisture is a concern for winter wheat. End users like the consistency and high-quality grain while providing strong tillering and plant health for those growing it.
Winter Wheat – Unsure on your area or optimal planting date?
Ontario Cereals Crop Committee Test Area Map below.


Optimal Winter Wheat Planting Date Map by Area below.