Farmers got a firsthand look at some of Prograin's early maturing soybean varieties in the Extend program. Two year and one year pre-commercial material was also on display at the 12th annual Valley Soybean Expo hosted by Quarry Seed near Oakville.
Assistant Breeder with Prograin, Sylvain Legay, says this summer was a good opportunity to see how the varieties handled the hot and dry conditions.

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Sylvain Legay

"We don't have exactly the same climate where we develop them in Saint-Césaire (Quebec) so it's good for us to see how they're behaving."

He added, "So far from what we've seen in touring different places in Manitoba, they've been responding very well we we're very happy with that."

As for certain traits that Prograin is focusing on, Legay said breeders are looking at varieties that have Iron Deficiency Chlorosis tolerant backgrounds.

"We're doing some trial plots, started this year in Manitoba, testing out all of our new research material that is pretty much one year to pre-commercial, and sometimes two years to pre-commercial, just to have a feel of how they're doing in these conditions."

He added they are also looking at Soybean Cyst Nematode tolerance, and how to tackle Phytophthora.

Meantime, southern Manitoba is known for its dramatic weather, going from excessive wet conditions one year to drought-like conditions the next. We asked Legay what Prograin is doing to head-off that challenge.

"One of the great things we doing, and we're developing even more is, we're testing our varieties in as many locations as we can in Manitoba, including southern Manitoba."

He added that Prograin has also started its breeding program in the province. "..right here in the environment that farmers do have in Manitoba. This will help us to select the best varieties that are best adapted to the environment here and to the conditions it would have."

The Quebec-based company is the largest private added-value soybean company in Canada and has partnered with Quarry Seed to expand into Western Canada.