Last month, four new lines from the wheat breeding program at Agriculture and Agri-food Canada Swift Current were recommended for registration during the Prairie Grain Development Committee Meetings.

Wheat Breeder Dr. Richard Cuthbert says there's one high-yielding Canada Prairie Spring Red variety with a strong disease package that includes stripe rust resistance that shows a lot of potential for growers in Alberta.

The other three lines are Canada Western Red Spring two of which are not non-midge tolerant.

He says they have excellent disease package resistance to all priority one diseases, as well as loose smut, including a moderate resistance to FHB and five per cent higher yielding than AAC Brandon with equal grain protein. 

The last variety is a very high-yielding CWRS with midge resistance, which has resistance to all the priority one diseases again, as well as moderate resistance to FHB. 

He says we're seeing the next evolution in varieties now from AAC Brandon to AAC Wheatland and AAC Starbucks. 

According to Cuthbert, the new lines were tested at 12 to 14 locations across the prairies over three years, so seed companies and seed growers are assured of their performance.

The Government of Canada put out a request for proposal call, seed companies had until the end of this week to submit their tenders for the right to grow and distribute the new wheat varieties.

Officials will meet and evaluate the tenders over the next few weeks to determine which companies will have access to the new varieties.

Once that is done, the seed companies will send the seed out to seed growers for planting as they start building up the seed supply.

The seed multiplication process usually takes about three to four years before varieties are released to farmers for commercial production.