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.
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.