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2012 Alberta Regional Variety Trials (PCN Winter 2013) JAN 1 2013 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

This article appeared in the Winter 2013 issue of Pulse Crop News.

Alexander Fedko, Alberta Agriculture

The Alberta Regional Variety Testing Trials (RVTs) are a key source of information to the agriculture industry regarding the yield potential and field performance of new pulse varieties. The trials are managed by a team of research experts to minimize variability. These trials provide unbiased, comprehensive information that assists producers to make better cropping decisions and higher profits.

The Alberta RVTs flourished in 2012 thanks to early moisture and midsummer heat. Seeding was done into good soil moisture conditions and on time. Emergence was uniform. Frequent spring precipitations kept soil well saturated, but never caused flooding conditions except in the Peace region where soil moisture was rated as excessive. Then the hot weather of July and August may have reduced field peas yield potential at some locations possibly due to plants being shallow rooted.

The Regional Variety Trials examine seed yield as well as other data, such as plant height, standability at physiological maturity, disease reaction, and thousand seed weight. Varieties within each table are arranged in alphabetical order. The check variety for each crop type is displayed in bold at the top of the table. Cultivar yield data is shown as percent of the check, and the station years of testing column is located beside the yield. Caution is advised when interpreting the data with respect to new varieties that have not been fully tested.

The CV stands for coefficients of variation (CV) in the trial and is expressed as a percentage. Large CVs mean a large amount of variation could not be attributed to differences between varieties. The lower the CV the better is the quality of data.

There were 17 green and yellow pea sites established across Alberta and two sites in North Eastern British Colombia. Sites in Alberta consisted of five green plus two checks (Cooper and CDC Patrick) and five yellow plus a new check (CDC Meadow) cultivars replicated four times in a randomized complete block design. Only two green and three yellow variety trials failed due to various reasons.

Chickpea and lentil trials underwent major changes this year. From now on, there will be only one joined desi and kabuli chickpea trial and one (early and late) lentil trial. Nine chickpea varieties plus check (CDC Frontier) were grown at Bow Island, Brooks, Lethbridge, and Medicine Hat. All the chickpea variety trials were successfully harvested. Unfortunately, the yield results for the trial at Medicine Hat were not added to the database due to unacceptable CV.

2012 was a successful year for growing Lentil trials. 19 varieties plus a check (CDC Redberry) were well grown at Bow Island, Brooks, Lethbridge, and Medicine Hat.

Wide row dry bean trials were grown at Bow Island, Lethbridge, and Vauxhall, and the narrow row dry bean had two sites, at Lethbridge and Vauxhall. There were 12 varieties including checks in both trials and all grown under irrigation. The wide row locations had a complete set of data; however, only the Vauxhall data set was included in the database because 112 km/h winds blew the Lethbridge trial all over beyond repairs at harvest time.

Again, there were no fababean regional trials grown in 2012 due to no new varieties being registered.

Varieties displaying a symbol (❀) are subject to Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBR). Any unauthorized sale of seed of these varieties is an infringement under the act. Under PBR, farmers are allowed to save seed of the variety for their own use, to plant on their own farms.

We would like to acknowledge the hard work of all the people who seed, maintain, take field data, harvest, and process grain samples from the variety trials. The research organizations that were involved in testing are Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta; Battle River Research Group; Chinook Applied Research Association; Lakeland Agricultural Research Association; MacKenzie Applied Research Association; Peace Agricultural Research Demonstration Association; Southern Applied Research Association; and Smokey Applied Research Demonstration Association; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Lacombe and Lethbridge Research Stations; Agriculture and Rural Development Research Stations in Brooks and Edmonton; BC Grain Producers; and Viterra. As well, we appreciate hard work of the crop coordinators, APG staff, ARD staff, and pulse breeders who reviewed the results of the testing and updated diseases and other agronomic information.

And finally, without financial support, this publication would not be possible. A sincere thank you to Alberta Pulse Grower Commission for contributing to the Pulse Science Cluster Project that is run under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Growing Forward program; to breeders and seed companies for paying testing fees (Alliance Seed Corporation, Crop Development Centre at University of Saskatchewan and FP Genetics Inc.); to the Association of Alberta Co-op Seed Cleaning Plants, the Alberta Seed Growers’ Association, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Finally, about two-thirds of our trials were Alberta producers’ fields, and we appreciate their cooperation and dedication as well.