Early grain

Yesterday we planted out the spring grain trial.  April 18 is mighty early so I am happy and I hope the seeds are too.  It is unusually dry and warm this spring.  Last spring was unusually wet and cool.  Normally we can’t get spring wheat planted until May.  

We planted Red Fife, Galician spring (the grandmother of Red Fife, from Eli Rogosa), Hulless purple barley (from Michelle Smith in Cape Breton),  and AC Barrie (a reference bread wheat most people are growing these days).  These will be evaluated for disease resistance and we will try some crosses.  In the fall, we will plant Red Fife again, as well as a number of packets of winter wheat collected by Eli Rogosa (http://growseed.org/catalogue1.pdf) such as Rouge de Bordeau, Einkorn, Poltavka, Canaan, Rogosa, Emmer, Banatka, Red Lammas, and Ethiopian Purple.  Eli describes Canaan Rouge as “intelligent”, and  Poltavka as “sexy”, and Rouge de Bordeau as resistant to fusarium.  I couldn’t resist! We will make observations on winter hardiness and growth form.  At this point, we are observing, and the real trials and crossing will start next year with more seed.

Purple hulless barley. I'm wondering about the little white nubs... Does that indicate they've pre sprouted?

We invite any growers to get in touch if you are interested in participating in wheat evaluations with us.

I was extremely pleased with the Jang seeder.  It is heavy, but not too heavy, and very precise.  In the late 90s I used either an Earthway seeder, which is too light and flimsy, or a big seed drill pulled behind a tractor.  The drill requires huge amounts of seed and is not practical for preliminary evaluations with small amounts of seed.  The Jang seeder is perfect for handfuls of seed.  Each seed goes exactly where it needs to go.

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7 Responses to Early grain

  1. Hi David and Jen,
    You have some very novel wheat lines here! I look forward to seeing how they turn out. It would be really interesting to do quality analysis on the different cultivars. Will you be doing disease assessments etc? All the best! Andy from OACC

  2. Rob Hughes says:

    Hi guys,
    Wondering where you sourced your Jangs seeder. I am looking at some small field trials of grain, nectar plants and herbs this year at my patch, on Keswick Ridge near Fredericton. The Jangs looks like the ‘best in class’ to me. Any info appreciated. Many thanks, your on-line accounts are very useful.

    • jenredfox says:

      Hi Rob,

      We got our Jang seeder from Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Maine (johnnyseeds.com). For a Canadian supplier, you can try Willsie equipment (willsie.com). I used to use the Earthway seeder, and it works, but the Jang is really slick.

      Thanks, Jen

      • Rob Hughes says:

        Many thanks Jen. I found Willsie on the net today as a supplier, and also William Dam seeds in Ontario (http://www.damseeds.ca/productcart/pc/home.asp). I may try ordering from one of them to avoid the cross border issues.
        Follow-up question if I may….which roller did you use for the wheat seeding? The numerous seed rollers with the Jang is a slight challenge as there are lots of them! Did you find ther ollers worked with the seeds they said they were designed for?
        cheers and thanks – Rob

      • David Greenberg says:

        Hi Rob,

        David here, the other half of the Heliotrust farm team. Jen used the “LJ 12” roller for the wheat. Over all, we only use three rollers for all the direct seeded crops except large seeded crops like peas, beans and corn. For the smallest seeds, like arugula, we use the M 12, for the slightly larger seeds like carrot, we use the MJ 12, and for larger seeds like beets, spinach, wheat and many others, we use the LJ 12.

        Using the Jang well is a work in progress for us.

        Hope you enjoy yours! If you have further questions feel free to get in touch.

      • Rob Hughes says:

        Thank you David. Good info which helps a lot.

        One thing I plan to use the planter for is sunflowers, which may be a bit challenging as the seed I have saved is variable in size on all axes, I may have to pre-screen it somehow.

        It is nice to think ahead to planting season while the snow blows about outside.


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