Seed World

OAC Bayfield named 2013 Seed of the Year

OAC Bayfield is a soybean (Glycine max L.) cultivar. OAC Bayfield is one of a kind variety that has contributed to agriculture in Ontario in many different ways. It was developed by a group of researchers from the University of Guelph led by Professors Wallace Beversdorf and Jack Tanner. The initial cross was made in 1985 between KG60 and Bicentennial, which were some of the best cultivars available to Ontario farmers in that year.

The variety was released to public in 1993 and has been grown for 20 years; rare for any variety. On average, most crop varieties stay in the marketplace for 2-4 years but only the best stay competitive and popular with the growers for over 10 or 15 years. OAC Bayfield has dominated the 2600 (maturity group 0) soybean growing area for a long time due to several factors. First, it is a high yielding variety but also had stability. OAC Bayfield’s production peaked in 1998 when 400,000 ac were grown in Ontario. A total of 46,000 tonnes of OAC Bayfield seed have been sold in its lifetime. Additionally, the University of Guelph has earned over $1.25 million in royalties from this soybean variety.

OAC Bayfield also has slightly higher protein content than average, stands up well in the field and is easily grown. Because of the good seed quality, OAC Bayfield was grown by a number of growers in contract production destined for food grade markets, especially in Europe. OAC Bayfield was not only good on its own merits but also contributed its good genetics to new varieties that used it as a parent. A number of excellent varieties have been developed by both public and private breeders using OAC Bayfield as a parent, this includes OAC Wallace, OAC Champion and OAC Kent, which itself was awarded the Seed of the Year award in 2008. OAC Lakeview and OAC Heritage are the next generation to have Bayfield genetics.

Two other finalists for the east division of Seed of the Year were also recognized at the event. They were Dividend VL Orchard Grass developed by Stephen Bowley and Donna Hancock with the University of Guelph; and DH 410SCN a soybean variety developed by Dr. Gary Ablett from the University of Guelph- Ridgetown Campus institution.

The Seed of the Year competition encourages public breeders to highlight their research accomplishments in developing a new field crop, forage, fruit, vegetable or herb variety. Any publicly developed Canadian variety is eligible to compete.

The competition was designed by University of Guelph and SeCan, with support from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Additional sponsorship was provided by Canadian Seed Growers Association, Quality Seeds Ltd, Ontario Asparagus Growers, Ontario White Bean Producers, Canadian Seed Trade Association, Snobelen Farms, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and the Ontario Potato Board.

For more information, contact Martin Harry, SeCan (519) 423-6435; or Andrea Smith, Seed of the Year Student Coordinator