Wheat and barley varietal replacement in western Canada
This paper looks at varietal replacement of wheat and barley by province in western Canada with respect to the rate of varietal replacement and varietal concentration. A varietal replacement index (VRI) is calculated to represent the rate of varietal replacement using Canadian Wheat Board annual variety survey data for the years 1998-99 to 2004-05. It was hypothesized that the province of Manitoba would have the highest rate of varietal replacement followed by Saskatchewan and then by Alberta. This is based on the claim by researchers that, due mainly to higher rainfall and humidity, the incidence of crop disease is greater in that part of the prairies east of a line drawn through Moose Jaw and Melfort Saskatchewan, and therefore farmers change their varieties more often. The VRIs for the three provinces confirm the hypothesis for Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS) wheat and for malting barley varieties. The hypothesis does not hold for Canada Western Amber Durum (CWAD) and Canada Prairie Spring Red (CPSR) wheat but holds for Canada Western Red Winter (CWRW). This was expected given the relative importance of these markets and corresponding research budgets compared to CWRS. However, a relatively high concentration ratio for CWAD was not expected given the importance of the CWAD market and the varietal research budgets devoted to this class of wheat.
Varietal Replacement Index
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