Midge Tolerant Wheat Stewardship Agreement

“Wherever farmers have grown CPS wheat varieties in the past, I think this variety is very good. And I think it would exaggerate beyond where Midge is present,” says Derkatch. Midge Tolerant Wheat Stewardship Assurance Site (MTWSAS) is a secure, web-based tool for seed traders, seed traders and seed producers, which makes the process of documenting the movement of certified midge wheat seeds more efficient. It allows users to create electronically signed fiduciary contracts and book sales transactions. The idea is that potential virulent flies mated with non virulent flies producing non virulent offspring, as non-virulence is the dominant characteristic. Estimates suggest that this type of approach will extend the lifespan of midge tolerance (the usefulness of the Sm1 gene) to 90 years or more. AAC Warman and AAC LeRoy are two other varieties of CWRS that combine midge tolerance with fusarium and housing resistance, says Santosh Kumar, a wheat farmer at AAFC in Brandon. Its program focuses almost exclusively on CWRS wheat for Western Canada. In the CPS class, Randhawa recently recorded AC Crossfield and AAC Entice.

They are both vulnerable to Midge, but they have moderate resistance to fusarium. A third, AAC Castle, has midge tolerance, medium fusarium resistance and good straw resistance. The second mechanism concerns chemical compounds in wheat, which prevent the female midge from laying eggs on wheat heads. This mechanism is called “Oviposition Dissuasion” and is not as widespread in wheat farming. Most programs are based on resistance based on Sm1. AC Conquer VB is the only midge-tolerant Canadian prairie spring wheat. Derkatch says it`s a good choice for farmers who buy certified seeds of a new variety. It offers a yield of 25 to 30 percent on a standard CWRS variety, he says. “We use the database to find anomalies in purchasing patterns. If someone comes back every two years and buys midgetoler wheat, there may be random audits, but they are probably compliant. Maybe some have left farming or the variety hasn`t worked for them, and that doesn`t matter, but it will be the follow-up debate that we`re going to have,” Hyra says.

All tolerant midge wheat purchases are recorded in a database. Farmers can be screened to ensure that they are complying with the trust agreement. But along with other AAFC, University of Manitoba and CDC Saskatoon scientists, Kumar`s program is working on alternatives and germ plasma screening for additional sources of midge tolerance. Recently, a team of scientists discovered a promising gene in South Asian germ plasma, although it is still too early to confirm its effectiveness. Everyone who has grown Midge Tolerant Wheat knows Sm1, the only gene responsible for half-time tolerance. Midge Tolerant Wheat breeders rely on Sm1 to protect their performance and quality and follow specific fiduciary practices to maintain their effectiveness. If tolerance is lost, it could cost producers $60 million per year and up to $36 per hectare. Midge-tolerant wheat growers are used to putting a pen on paper every year and signing a trust contract with their seed traders. All this is changing in this growing season, as the Midge Tolerant Wheat Stewardship team has launched a digital platform and an Evergreen agreement. The online move aims to improve the process for breeders and retailers and ensure the continued protection of the midge tolerance gene.