b'Tell us about the Alberta Regional VarietyI understand SaskBarley is supporting some Advisory Committee (ARVAC). exciting new projects that can utilize the Its a really inclusive and diverse com- variety trials and take them to a new level. Tell mittee with a lot of different perspec- us about them.tives and expertise represented. ItsWere about to enter into the third year of Sheri Strydhorst open to anyone who has a legitimateMitchell Japp the Western Canadian Field Trials project RVT Coordinator,interest in the variety trials. A lot ofResearch andled by the Canadian Malt Barley Technical Alberta Regionalwork goes into collecting, reviewing,ExtensionCentre (CMBTC). The CMBTC project Variety AdvisoryManager, Committeeand using the cereal and flax varietySaskBarley includes a wide selection of entries, includ-(ARVAC) performance data to ensure that iting seven new malt varieties, across 25+ Principal, Sherisis valuable and useful for producers.locations in three provinces, and focuses Ag Consulting The data is ultimately published in theon characteristics such as germination, Alberta Seed Guide.energy, and water sensitivity. This data can be used to promote newer varieties to the What recent developments have occurredmalt and brewing industry and facilitate a with ARVAC? more rapid transition away from old malt ARVAC has had a long history invarieties. Funding partners in this project Alberta. My database goes back to 1995.are Alberta Barley and Manitoba Crop However, in 2020, the Alberta govern- Alliance, as well as in-kind support from ment withdrew from all ag research,ARVAC, Saskatchewan Variety Performance including the variety trial program,Group, and Manitoba Crop Variety leaving it without a coordinator andEvaluation Trials. software. However, the Alberta WheatThe other project were supporting, Commission stepped in to provide in- led by Indian Head Agricultural Research kind contributions and financial sup- Foundation (IHARF), is focusing on port, allowing the program to continue.variety-specific performance of varieties in Saskatchewan using alternate analytical How does a variety get entered? methods. The crops being studied include Varieties are entered into the programwheat, durum, barley, canola, field peas, by paying an annual fee of $1,400 perlentils, chickpeas, and flax. By analyzing entry, and the program requires testingthe data collected from the regional variety for at least three years, with the optiontrials, the project aims to provide more to test for a fourth or fifth year. The dataaccurate and efficient evaluations of crop generated is not published until at leastperformance in different environments. six to eight site-years of data has beenBy leveraging the existing yield data collected over two growing seasons.and using alternate analytical methods, The program is expensive to run, withthe project can gain a more intensive an annual cost of $490,000, with 52% ofperspective on evaluating environment-the costs being covered by grants andspecific parental performance of various the balance being covered by contribu- crops in Saskatchewan. This will allow for tions from seed companies, the Albertamore robust results that go beyond the Seed Processors, Alberta Wheat, andspace constraints of a printed seed guide. many others.Funding partners are Western Grains Research Foundation, Sask Wheat and Can you comment on data ownership andSaskPulse.whats done with it?The data ultimately belongs to ARVAC.It sounds like there may be opportunities for However, registration data includedmore collaboration between provinces. Is that in our database belongs to the recom- the case?mending committee, such as the PrairieIt could lead to more effective implemen-Recommending Committee for Wheat,tation of regional trials and ultimately Rye and Triticale. Data collected is madebenefit individual growers.available to growers through the Alberta Seed Guide in print and online.MARCH 2023 GERMINATION.CA 49'