Blog: Agronomy & Extension

Most seeded winter wheat varieties in Manitoba – 2023

The Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) has released its 2023 Variety Market Share Report. This report breaks down the number of acres seeded to each crop type in Manitoba. As well, the relative percentage of acres each variety was seeded on within each crop type is reported. This information is useful to understand overall production patterns in Manitoba. A link to the 2023 report can be found here. Furthermore, 2023 results from the winter wheat sites of the Manitoba Crop Variety Evaluation Trials (MCVET) have been published. Results can be found here.

It is important to note that farmer members’ dollars directly contributed to the plant breeding research activities which were instrumental in the development of the top winter wheat varieties.  

Select Take Aways

A small number of Winter Wheat acres were seeded again in 2023, with approximately 59 thousand acres seeded. This is up slightly from 2022 and up over 20 thousand acres from 2021. The top six varieties by percentage acres seeded are listed in Table 1, but 12 varieties were listed in this year’s MASC Variety Market Share Report. All top six seeded varieties are Canada Western Red Winter (CWRW) wheat.

Table 1. 2023 top six winter wheat varieties by percent seeded acres in Manitoba.


Wheat Class

Yield (bu/ac)**

Relative Maturity**


Relative Winter Hardiness**

FHB Resistance**

Relative Acreage (%)*

AAC Wildfire





Very Good

Moderately Resistant







Very Good





AAC Goldrush






Very Good



AAC Gateway





Very Good




AAC Elevate





Very Good




AAC Vortex




Very Good

Very Good

Moderately Resistant


Note: * Data obtained from MASC 2023 Variety Market Share Report. ** Data obtained from the 2023 MCVET Winter Wheat and Fall Rye report. Fusarium Head Blight; FHB.

AAC Wildfire was the top seeded winter wheat variety, occupying 43.2 per cent of seeded winter wheat acres. This is an increase of just over 14 per cent from 2022. AAC Wildfire was registered in 2015 and is a late maturing CWRW variety. AAC Goldrush, which was registered in 2016, also increased in percentage of acres seeded, increasing by three per cent from 2022. AAC Vortex, which was registered in 2021, was seeded on over four per cent of acres in 2023. There were no reported acres of AAC Vortex in the 2022 MASC Variety Market Share Report.

Emerson, which has a fusarium head blight rating of ‘resistant’, has been the most seeded variety in Manitoba for several years. However, its acreage has dropped just over 14 per cent from 2022. A similar trend was seen in AAC Gateway, which dropped from 16.1 per cent in 2022, to just over five per cent in 2023. AAC Elevate remained steady from 2022 to 2023, at just over five per cent of seeded acres.

The Seed Manitoba Variety Selection and Growers Source Guide should be consulted when making variety selections.

Spring agronomy resource roundup – cereals

By Manitoba Crop Alliance

As we head into spring, now is the perfect time to brush up on some important agronomy topics.

Manitoba Crop Alliance (MCA) has several articles and resources to help farmers implement best management practices (BMPs) on their operations. This resource roundup highlights information for targeting the correct seeding date, conditions and fertility, as well as management options if seeding gets delayed.

Spring cereals

1. Seeding date

We know that weather on the Prairies is unpredictable, and while we hope to get the crop in early, sometimes Mother Nature has other plans. More information on the ideal time to plant spring cereals, the impact of delayed seeding and agronomic management strategies is available in the following articles:

2. Dry soil conditions

Across the Prairies, seeding into dry soils is inevitable in some years. These dry conditions require careful seeding BMPs to help reduce risk. Learn more from resources listed below, including a special collaboration article between the Alberta Wheat Commission, Alberta Barley, Sask Wheat, SaskBarley and MCA:

3. Plant stands

Plant population influences all three of the primary determinants of yield: (1) number of heads per acre, (2) number of kernels per head and (3) weight per kernel. Do you know how your selected variety will perform under varying target plant populations? Learn more:

4. Nitrogen fertility

Another important aspect of seeding is making sure your crop has the proper fertility package. The following are important resources for making nitrogen fertilizer management decisions:

Winter wheat

While many winter wheat farmers choose to apply most of their nitrogen in the fall, early spring is a good opportunity to evaluate your fertilizer strategy. In the article below, Manitoba Agriculture’s John Heard goes through his checklist of spring fertility considerations:

The winter annual growth habit of winter wheat makes it an effective competitor against many weed species. However, some weed control considerations should still be made. The following article outlines integrated weed management strategies and herbicide options for winter wheat:

Significant snow accumulation throughout winter helps to keep the soil warm enough for winter wheat to overwinter. The following resources cover other factors that impact winter wheat survival, plus ways to assess the survival in your fields:


Post-registration assessment of fusarium head blight resistance in spring wheat, barley, and winter wheat

By Anne Kirk and Chami Amarasinghe, Manitoba Agriculture 

The Manitoba Crop Variety Evaluation Team (MCVET) has been evaluating the effects of fusarium head blight (FHB) on spring wheat, winter wheat and barley varieties under conditions of natural infection for a number of years. Varietal resistance ratings for FHB, as presented in Seed Manitoba, are determined through inoculated trials conducted during the period the variety is tested in the variety registration system. While this provides good information on resistance to FHB, the data generated provides limited comparisons with other registered varieties. Post-registration FHB analysis provides an opportunity to compare fusarium damaged kernels (FDK) and deoxynivalenol (DON) accumulation among registered varieties over a number of locations in Manitoba. Fungicides are not applied to MCVET trials, and FHB infection is the result of natural infection. Due to variety turnover in MCVET trials, ongoing analysis is required to evaluate the response of newly registered varieties.

In 2022, DON accumulation was low at the majority of sites. At the spring wheat sites, mean DON accumulation was below the detection limit of 0.5 ppm at seven of nine sites tested; DON ranged from 0.5 to 4.2 ppm at the two sites where DON was detected (Table 1). Mean DON accumulation at the barley sites was below detection limit at eight of 10 sites and ranged from 0.5 to 1.4 ppm at the remaining sites (Table 2). Mean DON accumulation in winter wheat was below detection limit at six of eight sites and ranged from 0.6 ppm to above the detection limit of 5 ppm at two sites (Table 3). Varieties with the highest FDK and DON levels were generally rated as susceptible (S), moderately susceptible (MS) or intermediate (I) for FHB resistance. However, there is variability in FDK and DON within each of the five resistance categories.

FHB infection is highly influenced by environmental conditions, but there are management options that should be used to mitigate the risk of FHB. The first step is to select varieties with improved resistance to FHB. Resistance ratings published in Seed Manitoba are a good first place to look for disease resistance information. Caution must be used with one year of data, as presented in these tables. Other management strategies include crop rotation and fungicide application.

Thanks to Manitoba Crop Alliance for providing funding to conduct FDK and DON analysis and the Manitoba Crop Variety Evaluation Team and contractors who provided the harvested samples.

MCA-funded research at the 2022 Manitoba Agronomists’ Conference

By Manitoba Crop Alliance

On Dec. 14 and 15, 2022, Manitoba agronomists met to discuss the latest developments in crop production, crop protection and soil management at the Manitoba Agronomists’ Conference.

The conference theme for 2022 was “Dialing Down the Heat: Agronomic Solutions to Climate Change” and much of the research shared was funded in part by Manitoba Crop Alliance (MCA).

Here is a summary of the posters shared at the conference that feature MCA-funded research:

Nutrient management

  • Improving In-Season Corn Nitrogen Dressing Using Canopy Sensing in Manitoba
    Claudia Quilesfogel-Esparza, Mario Tenuta, Paul Bullock, University of Manitoba
  • Optimizing Nitrogen Management Under Conditions of Extreme Moisture
    Timi Ojo, John Heard, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development; Ramona Mohr, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Trevor Fraser, Paul Bullock, University of Manitoba
  • Fertilizer Use in Manitoba: Results From the 2021 Survey
    Ashley Ammeter, Morgan Cott, Manitoba Crop Alliance

Soil and water management

  • Soil Temperature as Affected by Drainage Spacing in Heavy Clay Soils of Manitoba
    Nirmal Hari, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development

Crop management

  • Economic and Agronomic Performance of Emerging Cropping Systems for Western Canada
    Ramona Mohr, Mohammad Khakbazan, Debbie McLaren, Yong Min Kim, Aaron Glenn, Maria Antonia Henriquez, Bill May, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Brian Beres, Francis Larney, Newton Lupwayi, Henry Chau, Lethbridge Research and Development Centre; Rob Gulden, University of Manitoba; Chris Willenborg, University of Saskatchewan; Terry McGonigle, Brandon University

Pest management

  • New Fusarium Head Blight Disease Risk Maps for the Canadian Prairies
    T. Matengu, P. Bullock, M. Mkhabela, F. Zvomuya, D. Fernando, University of Manitoba; T. Ojo, R. Picard, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development; M. Henriquez, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; R. Avila, A. Akhavan, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Saskatchewan; M. Harding, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
  • Residual Weed Population Shifts in Manitoba – 1978 to 2022
    K. Brown-Livingston, S. Hladun, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development; J.Y. Leeson, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Thank you to the conference partners – University of Manitoba, Manitoba Agriculture and the Prairie Certified Crop Advisor Board – for hosting an excellent conference!

For a full list of poster presentations and speakers from the 2022 conference, visit the Manitoba Agronomists’ Conference website.

Top winter wheat varieties in Manitoba – 2022

Each year, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) publishes a Variety Market Share Report based on information provided by Manitoba Farmers. Not only is this information valuable to track trends and patterns, it can also be useful to farmers for marketing and cropping decisions.

In the 2022 edition, Manitoba farmers reported seeding 51,972 acres of winter wheat in the fall of 2021, up by about 15,000 acres from the previous year. Emerson was the most popular variety, seeded on 36 per cent of acres, followed by AAC Wildfire (28 per cent) and AAC Gateway (16 per cent) (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Most popular winter wheat varieties in Manitoba, based on the MASC 2022 Variety Market Share Report.

How have winter wheat varieties changed over time?

It is no surprise that winter wheat breeders are continually working to improve the varieties available to farmers, but how do past varieties stack up against new genetics?

With a short height and high yield, CDC Falcon was the long-standing favourite variety in Manitoba. In 2014, it was moved out of the Canada Western Red Winter class and into the Canada Western Special Purpose class.

Registered in 2012, Emerson has been a top variety in Manitoba in recent years, in part due to its Fusarium head blight (FHB) resistance. AAC Wildfire (registered 2015), AAC Gateway (registered 2012) and AAC Goldrush (registered 2016) are also popular varieties. See how they compare to one another in Table 1!

Table 1: CDC Falcon Canada Western Special Purpose winter wheat compared to popular Canada Western Red Winter wheat varieties in Manitoba. Variety descriptions are based on the Seed Manitoba 2022 Variety Selection Guide.

For more information, the entire market share report can be found here. The Manitoba Management Plus Program (MMPP) also has a number of Regional Analysis Tools, including the Variety Yield Data Browser, which allows past variety yield data for many crops to be filtered based on municipality or MASC risk area.

Crop nutrient management research roundup

Manitoba Crop Alliance strives to provide tools and resources to you, our farmer members, so you can make informed decisions to optimize production and minimize nutrient loss on your farm. To do so, we have funded a range of research projects that support farmers in making decisions. Check out the list below for a roundup of our research and extension efforts on the topic of nutrient management!

Optimizing Nitrogen Management Under Conditions of Extreme Moisture

Background: Manitoba farmers are no strangers to conditions of extreme moisture. The objective of this project was to develop data-based decision-support tools to help farmers assess and manage risks associated with fall nitrogen fertilizer management under extreme moisture conditions. The information developed helps indicate when extra measures to protect nitrogen are warranted, based on the risk of nitrogen losses.

Project Details | Report and Nitrogen Risk Tables

Optimum Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Strategies for High-Yielding Spring Wheat in Manitoba

Background: Manitoba farmers are growing new varieties of spring wheat and using crop management tools that improve yield potential above the spring wheat production systems in which traditional nitrogen recommendations were developed. This research evaluated the most effective rates, timing, placement and sources for nitrogen fertilizer in spring wheat.

Project Details | Factsheet

Agronomic Practices to Minimize Lodging Risk While Maintaining Yield Potential in Spring Wheat

Background: New wheat varieties come with a new set of management challenges. This project aimed to understand how new high-yielding spring wheat varieties respond to nitrogen management, PGR application and seeding rate, as well as how these factors interact to influence lodging, yield and protein.

Project Details | Factsheet 1 | Factsheet 2

On-Farm Nitrogen Management for High Yield Wheat

Background: This Research on the Farm project evaluated three different nitrogen management strategies for increasing yield and protein in new high-yield spring wheat varieties.

Summary Report

Optimum Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Strategies for Modern Corn Hybrids in Manitoba

Background: Manitoba farmers are planting corn hybrids with higher yield potential than when the last corn nitrogen recommendations were developed. This study evaluated the most appropriate rates, timing, placement and sources for nitrogen fertilizer in corn.

Project Details | Summary Report | Summary Poster

Assessing the Effects of Split Nitrogen Application in Corn

Background: This Research on the Farm project evaluated the agronomic and economic impact of split nitrogen application in corn.

2017-18 Results

Additional resources

Spring Nitrogen Application Options Factsheet

Winter Wheat Fertility Checklist for Spring

Winter Wheat Fertility Checklist for Fall

Sunflower Fertility Factsheet

Manitoba Agriculture – Profitable Nitrogen Rates for Corn