Notes from the field: Organic wheat variety under cultivation at Glenlea

By Martin Entz, professor of cropping systems and natural systems agriculture
University of Manitoba

The Glenlea long-term study now includes new organically developed wheat variety.

The image above shows wheat growing in one of the organic plots at the Glenlea long-term crop rotation study. Up to now, we have been growing the same variety of wheat in the conventional and organic plots. In the past few years, that variety was Waskada, since it performed well under both organic conditions.

However, things are different this year. The new spring wheat variety, AAC Tradition, was seeded in the organic plots while the conventional plots were seeded to a popular conventional spring wheat variety.

AAC Tradition was developed specifically for organic production by the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada/University of Manitoba joint organic cereal breeding program. AAC Tradition (formerly known as BW487) is described here by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Its official breeders are Dr. Stephen Fox and Dr. Jennifer Mitchell-Fetch. In our field studies, AAC Tradition has yielded higher than all conventional wheats when grown under organic management.

It will be interesting to see how it performs in the Glenlea long-term rotation this year.