Our Top Picks- Seed Varieties for Spring 2024!

Our Top Picks- Seed Varieties for Spring!

October 30, 2023 | Kelly Barany, Chin Ridge Seeds (en-CA)

Seems like we have just wrapped up our 2023 crop and here we are looking forward to next spring! Here are some of our thoughts on what varieties of seed to consider seeding in 2024 to address some of the driving forces we anticipate in 2024. Our picks are categorized into:

- Drought resistant varieties & crops

- Sawfly resistant varieties and strategies to prevent sawfly damage

- High yielding barley for grain and forage

- Wheat that differentiates - high protein and quality

- Durum with greater fusarium resistance

- New pea varieties

Drought Resistant Varieties & Crops!

Over the last few years we have seen dry conditions persist in southern Alberta & southwest Saskatchewan. We think customers will be looking for drought resistant varieties and crops in 2024.

Barley Varieties for drought resistance: A couple of choices come to mind when we talk about drought resistant barley: CDC Renegade (New for 2024!) looks very good in the Seed Guide for yield in lower input conditions, as does Esma Barley. AB Wrangler Barley had one of our heavier bushel weight varieties and yields under drought conditions in the last few years. CDC Austenson has also been a reliable performer on our farm under dry conditions for bushel weight and yield.

Durum and Wheat for drought resistance: When it comes to durum for drought conditions our newest durum variety, AAC Schrader durum, is looking promising. We also have AAC Congress durum which has a reputation for some drought resistance. On the wheat front, we would recommend AAC Wheatland VB or AC Brandon, both of which seem to be reliable performers under a multitude of conditions.

Lentils for dry conditions (and to save money on fertilizer!): Lentils are a good choice for dry conditions and we have a number of lentil varieties for sale in 2024 including CDC Simmie CL red lentils and CDC Nimble red lentils and a brand new Canterra variety of red lentils (more to come on this new variety). We also have a very limited amount of green lentil seed for sale including CDC Lima and CDC Greenstar.

Sawfly Resistant Varieties!

Sawfly was a four letter word last year on our farm, and if it is dry again in 2024, we anticipate continued sawfly pressure. Sawfly resistant varieties or strategies will be a priority for customers in 2024. Our two top picks for sawfly resistance are AAC Stronghold Durum and CDC Adamant VB Wheat.

AAC Stronghold Durum has stood up well to sawfly over the last 3 years. The strong solid stem straw not only fights off sawfly but also helps with lodging pressure under irrigation. It's a great choice for both reasons!

CDC Adamant VB Wheat is a hard red spring wheat varietal blend that has both sawfly solid stem resistance and also has some wheat midge resistance. Adamant is not a perfect solution for sawfly but generally is a better choice than other hollow stem hard red spring wheat varieties.

Sawfly Resistant Seeding Strategies - We recommend that you avoid seeding wheat or durum into stubble with bad sawfly pressure in the prior year. Instead seed a crop that is immune to sawfly like oats, pulses, or oilseeds; or less affected by sawfly like barley. If you do seed wheat or durum, then seeding a variety with some sawfly resistance is your best protection.

Bin Busting Barley and Barley for Top Forage Yields!

Barley is still a very viable option in southern Alberta for this coming spring and new high yielding varieties are performing well under irrigation as well as dryland.

In addition, farming for forage isn't just for ranchers anymore. With the higher prices of hay and feed crops, we anticipate customers will be looking for crops that provide forage yield and high feed value. Double cropping (growing two forage crops back to back like winter wheat and barley; or fall rye and barley) will become even more common in 2024 as farmers try to maximize yields. Mixing a forage pea with a high forage cereal will be something customers will be looking at.

If you are looking for yield!, yield!, yield! then consider growing Esma Barley. The word is OUT now on this variety, as yields were extremely high in 2023 under irrigation. This variety is short and best suited to grain yield in our opinion.

CDC Renegade, mentioned above, yielded well under irrigation on our farm although it does require a growth regulator and water management. Renegade is our CDC Maverick replacement with a smooth awn and excellent forage/grain yields. AB Advantage is also a great forage / grain barley with its smooth awn and high yields and is in high demand in areas that do well with 6 rows.

For the dryland guys we have two great choices: New CDC Renegade, as discussed above, should definitely be considered. AB Wrangler works well where you want the option of doing both forage and or grain because it yields well for both scenarios, AB Prime has both forage and grain potential, and CDC Maverick with its smooth awn works wonderfully as dryland forage barley and cattle really seem to like it.

And finally, we still have CDC Austenson which has been a reliable barley under dryland or irrigation.

The latest & greatest Durum & Wheat varieties!


We are excited to launch AAC Shrader in 2024! This durum is the first durum variety to have an I (intermediate) resistance to fusarium, it has a wonderful big head and is nice looking variety.

We continue to have AAC Goldnet , CDC Defy, AC Stronghold, AAC Congress, and AC Transcend.

Spring Wheat

We talked about Adamant, Wheatland and Brandon above but for seed quality and excellent standability on irrigation consider:

AAC Hockley provides excellent standability, yields and high protein. Worth a look!

AAC Viewfield is our shortest variety with top in class standability so you can really push yields. This makes it a good choice for irrigation. It is easy to thresh, has good sprouting resistance, and has intermediate resistance to FHB.

Peas - market opportunities and soil health improvement!

Last but not least, we have some new pea varieties this year. I am not sure if they will be released for this spring - so call us and we will soon know! We are hoping to launch AAC Beyond yellow peas and AAC Planet yellow peas this fall!. We will still have AAC Carver peas as well. Carver is an early pea and seem to have a more breakage-resistant seed coat than Chrome's. We have been happy with the yields and disease resistance of Carver Peas. Prices for Green Peas have been strong - talk to us about our green pea varieties.

Finally we have an excellent supply of CDC Leroy forage peas for sale. These are great performers that will add protein to your forage mixes!

A niche crop with opportunity - Yellow Flax!

The market for golden or yellow flax has grown over the last few years as consumers look for healthy alternative foods to add to their diet. In 2014, Health Canada gave approval to the claim that eating ground flaxseed lowers blood cholesterol levels.

The market for yellow flax is not as big as the market for brown flax but it does provide a price premium over brown flax.

We have a very nice yellow flax variety here called CDC Dorado. This variety has all the markers of a great nutritional flax and is nice to grow as it matures a bit earlier than some of the brown varieties grown.

That's a wrap!

We have so many great varieties of seed! Too many to talk about them all! See our full listing of varieties on our website; or give Kelly or Don a call at 403-223-3900 (1-800-563-7333) and we will help you find what you are looking for.