SARDA showcases 21 crop varieties at its variety trials presentation, August 15

Above, centre: Holly-Lee Lambert of FP Genetics speaking at SARDA trials.

Tom Henihan
Express Staff

Smoky Applied Research and Demonstration Association (SARDA) presented its “Variety Trials,” south of Donnelly Corner on TWP Road 770, from 2pm to 4pm, August 15.

Approximately a dozen producers attended the session with presentations by reps whose varieties were represented in the trials. SARDA entered twenty-one varieties in the trials.

Holly-Lee Lambert, FP Genetics’ territory manager for Alberta spoke on the three varieties FP Genetics had in the trials.

Canterra Seeds, territory manager for the Peace Country, Jessie Myer, spoke regarding the four varieties Canterra had in the trials, and Stacy Yaremeko of Nutrien Ag Solutions, formerly called CPS, spoke on the three varieties they had involved in the trials.

Some varieties were unable to send a rep so SARDA research agrologist Darcy Boisvert elaborated on those verities.

“We took the ten top varieties in the Peace region based on AFAC crop insurance,” says SARDA Extension Coordinator, Shelleen Gerbig. “We took those and put them in the trial and we also invited the reps to put in their varieties that they think are a good fit for the Peace Region.”

SARDA also included some standard varieties that may be going out or reclassified, varieties that everybody is familiar with so that people can compare.

The 2018 trials are a continuation of the trials SARDA ran last year, so last year’s results are now available on SARDA’s website.

The trials are measured by the same check used for the provincial Regional Variety Trials, (RVTs) the provincial trials that go into the book that farmers reference when choosing seeds. So SARDA’s information can be referenced to the provincial trails as well.

“Generally, farmers are trying one or two new varieties every year, or every two or three years. Thing is, these all have different disease packages so they are resistant to different things,” says Gerbig.

“If you have an issue on your farm, then you are going to look for a variety that has resistance to that. We don’t have a lot of disease pressure so the difference that you are actually seeing is mostly the genetic difference.”

Some of the questions answered at the SARDA trials presentation were in regards to practices such as seed treatments and fungicide applications.

Clair Langlois, a provincial cereals specialist was also present and following the talks on the verities, the event looked at the fertility trial to improve protean.

The sale of a crop it is based on the weight, volume, quality and protean, and of course protean is very important.

This is the first year of the trial relating to protean so no substantial data is available at this point, but it is important that SARDA is now engaged in this kind of research, which will hopefully provide some answers.

“We don’t have that magic formula to ensure good protean,” says Gerbig. “So we are doing some work with some different forms of fertilizers and applying it at different times as well. Our cereal specialist is going to talk about that.”

Gerbig says, considering with all the varieties grown in this region, SARDA should be able to see how genetics affects the protean level.

To expedite the process of determining protean content, SARDA has purchased its own protean machine, which costs between 30 to 40 thousand dollars, so SARDA is now capable of testing its own protean and getting that information out to producers very quickly.

“In previous years we’ve had the elevators do it in their spare time but they are busy so we wouldn’t get the results until July of the next year. Now we can get that information out along with our data so they have the full package.”

People who want timely access to this data should contact SARDA.

“Farmers should phone us at (780) 837-2900 and we’ll get them on our email list and as soon as the data is ready everybody gets it.”

Second from left: Jessie Myey, Canterra Seeds, speaking at the SARDA trials


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