Vitality studies on frozen wheat
Banting, James Daniel
Three times in the past three decades frost has caused exceptionally severe crop damage in Western Canada. Although early autunm frosts are a recurring hazard, damage usually is scattered and light, often being confined to the more northerly areas. It has been estimated that one-half of the grain crop was damaged in the fall of 1928 (16). Frost damage in August of 1950 was even more severe with estimates of damage ranging as high as 75 percent in Saskatchewan. The ability of seed to germinate and establish vigorous seedlings under field conditions is one of the important factors in crop production. The availability of good seed-stocks for the spring of 1951 was a vital factor. Although a limited amount of seed is normally held in reserve, most of this surplus was disposed of prior to July 31. 1950, which date signified the end of the five year Pool Agreement (1945-49) with Great Britain. This meant that farmers were almost entirely dependent on frosted grain for their 1951 seed supply. In order to determine the value of frozen grain as seed a series of tests was conducted at the University of Saskatchowan on frost-damaged wheat.