Manitoba Forage Crop Variety Testing Program continued

Background:

The Western Forage Testing System (WFTEST) was developed in 1994 to coordinate the testing for registration and performance of forage experimental lines across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It is the final step before experimental lines are submitted by seed companies for registration in Western Canada.

The goals of  WFTEST are:

• To streamline and coordinate the registration and performance evaluation process. The tests generally provide sufficient data for both the registration and performance information for the various agro-climatic zones in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

• To share the responsibility of testing in the development of new forage varieties between the seed trade, the prairie provinces and the federal government.

Objective:

This research was started in 2001. This project will continue to provide Manitoba farmer’s with reliable adaptation and performance indicators under Manitoba conditions for new forage cultivars being developed and marketed.

Forage crops can be established in a number of production systems over a wide range of soil and climatic zones.  But, proper selection of crop and variety is critical in optimizing the benefits of forage crops in a sustainable cropping system. The Manitoba Forage Crop Variety Testing Program provides Manitoba farmers with objective information of growth and yield characteristics of new forage cultivars as they enter the marketplace.  The information assists producers in identifying varieties most suited to their farms.  This allows for rapid update by producers of the latest genetic improvements available, which ensures that Manitoba farmers are competitive in both domestic and export markets.  This program will increase the amount of information available for farmers to use in their decision-making process.

Project Description:

The Manitoba Forage Variety Program Test involves:

  1. Maintaining trials and collecting data at the three major testing sites: Arborg, St.Pierre, Neepawa/Rosebank, Winnipeg, Carberry.
    – Herbage yield on varieties of alfalfa, cicer milkvetch, clovers, brome grass, orchardgrass, tall fescue, timothy.
    – Plots are harvested with a specialized forage plot harvester. Legume tests are harvested at 10% bloom and grass crops at full heading.
    – Samples are weighed in the field and sub-sampled to determine moisture content. Plot maintenance includes pest control, weeding and border sanitation.
  2. Measure winter hardiness tolerance of 30 alfalfa varieties on existing plots at three sites: Arborg, Tuelon, and Rosebank.
    – Three overwintering periods are required to create sufficient separation between varieties.
    – This will be the first year of data for half the plots and the second year for the remainder.
  3. Measure the forage yield and quality of annual forages, include barley, oats, triticale, peas, proso millet and foxtail millet.
    – Locations are Arborg, Roblin, Carberry, Melita, Rosebank.
    – Trials will be conducted for six years, testing each variety for three consecutive years.

Project Contact: Glenn Friesen, MAFRI
Ph: (204) 745-5672
Start Date: April 2008
Completion Date:
Funding Partners: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Greencover Canada Program Technical Assistance Component, Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative, MFC, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, Proven Seed, Manitoba Forage Seed Association
Project Results: Project is ongoing.

Reports:

2013 Western Forage Variety Testing Project
2012 Western Forage Variety Testing Report
2011 Western Forage Variety Testing Report
2010 Western Forage Variety Testing Report
2009 Western Forage Variety Testing Report
2008 Western Forage Variety Testing Report
2007 Western Forage Variety Testing Report
2006 Western Forage Variety Testing Report
2005 Western Forage Variety Testing Report
2004 Western Forage Variety Testing Report
2003 Western Forage Variety Testing Report
2002 Western Forage Variety Testing Report
2001 Western Forage Variety Testing Report
2000 Western Forage Variety Testing Report

Updates:

Other Documents:
Forage Seed Growers (Producer & Corporate Listings)
Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Variety Guide