A hard red spring wheat variety with outstanding performance, sustainability, marketability and industry impact topped entries today in the third annual Seed of the Year competition.
AC Barrie, developed by Drs. Ron De Pauw, Tom McCaig, John Clarke, Grant J McLeod, Myriam Fernandez and Ron Knox of the Semiarid Prairie Agriculture Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, was named Seed of the Year at a recognition event at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
Since its introduction in 1997, AC Barrie has been grown on more than 41 million acres of crop land in Canada. AC Barrie became the dominant wheat variety after only two years of being on the certified seed sales market, and remained in the top position until 2006. In 2006, 40 per cent of Manitoba’s hard red spring wheat acreage was predominantly AC Barrie.
AC Barrie has better resistance to Fusarium head blight than other varieties. It has a very high protein content which makes it suitable for baking and milling.
Three other finalists for the Seed of the Year were also recognized at the event. OAC Rex is a white bean variety developed by University of Guelph professor Peter Pauls, former professor Tom Michaels and technician Tom Smith. Venture Peach, a processing peach variety, was developed by University of Guelph professors Jayasankar Subramanian, Neil Miles, and grape- and tender fruit extension specialist with OMAFRA Ken Slingerland. Chapais, a barley variety, was developed by Dr. Jean-Pierre Dubuc of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Quebec.
The Seed of the Year competition encourages public breeders to highlight their research accomplishments in developing a new field crop, forage, fruit, vegetable or herb variety. Any publicly developed Canadian variety is eligible to compete. This was a bench-mark year for the competition having expanded nationally, and the selection committee was pleased to see contributions of varieties from across Canada.
The competition was designed by University of Guelph and SeCan, with support from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Additional sponsorship was provided by Ontario White Bean Producers, Canadian Wheat Board, Ontario Soybean Growers, and the Ontario Wheat Producers’ Marketing Board.