At Cribit Seeds, we wholeheartedly believe in the importance of doing our homework. Annually, we commit many hours to research plot work as part of our dedication to the cereal seed industry. We test new varieties and evaluate farming practices within our growing region at both our Winterbourne and Conn farms. Both sites are medium loam soil; Conn has a shorter growing season.
It is important to make what we’ve learned from our trials available to growers at our annual Twilight meeting plot tours, through our seed dealers, and on our website. Results from our past testing efforts, are archived below:
Spring Variety Screening Trials
For over 5 years, Cribit Seeds has tested oat, barley and spring wheat. The seed for the majority of the lines being screened was provided by SeCan, a non-profit association providing members with top genetics. New lines were from Eastern and Western Canada, and Europe. Only the best lines from all screening sites are entered by SeCan in the Ontario Cereal Crop Committee’s (OCCC) registration trials. Only after a line is recommended by OCCC for registration will it receive a variety name and appear in the Performance Trials. Performance Trial results of all registered varieties are available at www.gocereals.ca
In addition to testing the best cereal genetics for this area of Ontario, for over 5 years, Cribit Seeds has tested different crop management practices. Management practices we have tested include: seed applied treatments, foliar applied fungicides and seeding rates.
In 2011/12 Cribit Seeds received some funding from the Growing Forward Program and the Agricultural Adaptation Council to launch a two year seed and foliar treatment trial.
The 2011/12 project entailed evaluating the performance and interaction of different seed treatments and foliar fungicides that had recently been registered for use with oats and barley. The performance measures were yield and disease control, including true loose smut in barley and fusarium head blight as measured by DON testing.
2011-12 Seed Treatment and Foliar Trial Final Report
Fungicide Foliar Spray Treatment:
In 2011/12 with one application of any foliar fungicide treatment, compared to a no spray control we noted a grain yield increase in barley of 2-16%, and oats of 4- 11% across the plots. This affirmed our recommendation for growers to use at least one fungicide application in crop for oats and barley.
Seed Applied Treatments:
Factsheet 13.1 3yr Seed Treatment Trial.pdf
Factsheet 13.2 Management Trial
- Fungicide Seed Treatment:
After 4 years (2011-14) of testing fungicide seed treatments, regardless of which fungicide seed treatment was used, the impact was approximately a 5% increase in oats and barley grain yield. An exception to that occurred in 2015 when no increase in oat grain yield was observed.
True Loose Smut is a significant concern in barley. Counts of infected barley heads in the plots, from 2011-2014, illustrated that using a fungicide seed treatment such as Rancona (Apex or Pinnacle) or Raxil (MD or Pro) provided a significant reduction in true loose smut disease. It was also verified that a significant change in formulation of both products did not negatively impact control.
DON (Vomitoxin) testing during 2011/12 indicated low fusarium pressure in those years. DON testing in 2013 indicated elevated fusarium pressure. The average DON measurement across the plots in 2013 was approximately 2ppm in barley at Winterbourne, 1.5ppm in barley at Conn, 1.5ppm in oats at Winterbourne, and approaching non-detection in oats at Conn.
At both locations, comparing plots treated with a fungicide seed treatment vs. untreated, there was observed a slightly lower DON level in the barley plots treated with a fungicide seed treatment, and no difference in DON level on oats.
- Insecticide Seed Treatment:
After 3 years studying insecticide seed treatments, regardless of which neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatment was used, we determined no significant yield increase above fungicide seed treatment use alone on oats and barley (2011-14). A slight yield increase for spring wheat was observed in 2013; the only year we included spring wheat.
This evidence re-affirmed our practice of using only a fungicide seed treatment on oats and barley processed in our facility.
- Biological Seed Treatment or Biological Foliar Application:
We continue to participate with private partners to test beneficial fungi as a seed treatment or foliar application. We do not have enough data at this point, to comment on the viability or practicality of these treatments.
- Nutrient Additive Seed Treatment:
We observed a slight, but not consistent yield increase, with the addition of a nutritional seed treatment (2013-15) and therefore have not adopted the practice.
- Cereal Seeding Rates with the use of foliar fungicides and mid to high fertility:
After two years of testing AAC Bullet oat at three different seeding rates; we saw no consistent yield advantage, but observed increased lodging risk, when seeding rates exceeded 1.1 million seeds/acre, which is approximately 120 lbs/acre.
After testing 3 Ontario barley varieties for two years at three different seeding rates a similar conclusion was drawn. There is no advantage to increasing seeding rates above 1.2 million seeds/acres, which is approximately 130 lbs/acre.
Western malting barleys appear to respond to higher seeding rates.
Cereal Forage Trials
Cereal Forage Results 2013-15
2013 Cribit Cereal Forage Factsheet 13.3
2013 Cribit Cereal Forage Factsheet 13.4
From 2012 to 2015, Cribit Seeds planted small replicated plots of single cereal, multiple cereal mixtures or mixtures with peas. Up to 25 forage mixes were evaluated per year. The performance measures were yield and Relative Feed Value (RFV). Varieties of oats and barley bred in western Canada, material bred for forage purposes and provided by SeCan, were also included. Of the western material, CDC Haymaker showed promise and above average yield (2013,15).
Summary of Results:
- There is no meaningful difference in yield or RFV whether a dark ‘forage’ pea or CDC Meadow yellow field peas is used in a mixture
- Using fungicide seed treatment, nutrient additive or biological seed treatment does not meaningfully affect yield or RFV. This has re-affirmed our practice of not using a seed treatment on seed of a crop to be harvested as forage.
- Straight oats will yield 5% more but have slightly lower RFV when compared to the average of all items and mixtures that were tested
- Of the straight oat varieties, CDC Haymaker is the best when combining yield and RFV, but it loses that advantage when mixed with peas
- Max Milk or Pea/oats 50:50, offers average yield but 5% better RFV.
Some things we’re less certain about because we have less data:
- Triple Crown or Pea/Oats/Barley 40:30:30 is over 5% above average in yield and slightly below average in RFV
- Oat/Barley/Wheat 1/3:1/3:1/3 is slightly above average in yield and over 5% below average in RFV
- Pea/Wheat/Barley 20:20:60 is about 5% higher in yield but almost 10% lower in RFV
- Straight barley is lower yielding and lower in RVF than straight oats.
Note: We supported the University of Guelph 2014/15 project that examined forages harvested, at 4 different stages of cutting, by suggesting forage mixture combinations, and providing seed for the project. Many results were similar, however the U of G study raised a concern when feeding a cereal forage to dry dairy cows leading up to calving.
In 2013, we wished to better understand how we might take advantage of the growing season after a wheat or cereal harvest is completed. To do so, we sent a survey to our customers. This was preceded by a decade of trying to better understand and use cover crops beneficially to control soil erosion and weed/pest/disease pressure, and improve soil quality and fertility. The results of this survey are attached below:
2012 Fall Forage or Cover Crop Survey display chart
Other Partnership efforts
Malt Barley Trials:
In 2014 and 2015 Cribit Seeds planted malt varieties in small replicated plots. This effort helped to help determine the efficacy of growing malt varieties in Ontario by managing a location and participating in the trials being conducted by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Nitrogen Response Trials:
In 2014 and 2015, Cribit Seeds cooperated with OMAFRA as one location to re-establish nitrogen response curves for oats and barley. This information had not been updated since the 1970’s. Results will be posted when available.
Monsanto Soybean Trials
Each year Cribit Seeds provides approximately 20 acres of land to Monsanto Canada for soybean variety research and development trials.
Pictures of the 2011 Interim trials to come –