New mustard variety breaks 40-year yield ceiling

SASKATOON, SK, MAY 7, 2020 – “This is a huge opportunity for our growers and our industry,” said Rick Mitzel, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission (Sask Mustard) and Mustard 21, which represent farmers in Saskatchewan and the mustard industry across Canada.

“AAC Hybrid Brown 18 has a 20% yield increase compared to open pollinated varieties,” Mitzel explained. “This is going to allow growers the ability to increase their profitability per acre with mustard.” The new variety is now available for sale from select dealers in Canada.

Quality traits in mustard, such as protein and oil content, have been improved through the pedigree breeding system, but the seed yield has essentially remained stagnant until this recent hybrid breeding breakthrough was achieved at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research and Development Centre in Saskatoon. A similar strategy that successfully led to the increase in canola seed yields was used to substantially increase the seed yield of condiment mustards.

“It’s really gratifying to see how our farmers’ investment in research can lead to breakthroughs like this,” said Mitzel, noting that Sask Mustard and Mustard 21 funded the important research with checkoff dollars from Saskatchewan mustard growers.

This isn’t the only research Mitzel is excited about. Sask Mustard is also working with the provincial Ministry of Agriculture on field trials to determine the optimum seeding rate and nitrogen response with the new AAC Hybrid 18 variety. “The new variety has shown strong yield increases with conventional fertilization and now we are testing to see what it will do with increased amounts of nitrogen,” he says.

Another major challenge for mustard production is extremely limited herbicide options for controlling broadleaf weeds such as wild buckwheat, narrow-leaved hawk’s beard, red root pigweed and Russian thistle. These weeds significantly impact yields and reduce grain quality. Sask Mustard is funding additional research with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to develop non-GMO, herbicide-tolerant mustards through seed mutagenesis.

These are only a few developments that are in the works for the mustard industry and Mitzel wants everyone to be in the know. The Grow Mustard newsletter is moving online as of June 8, 2020. Farmers and industry representatives are encouraged to sign up with their email address on the website or by emailing the SaskMustard office.

For more information, contact:

Rick Mitzel, Executive Director
Mustard 21 and Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission
cell: 306.914.5164 | office: 306.975.6629 |

AAC Brown 18 Mustard Seed is Available for Purchase:

Lethbridge, AB
Ryan Mercer
tel. 403.308.2297

Please contact your local Nutrien Ag retailer

Govan, SK
Baine Fritzler
tel. 306.725.7908

About Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission

The Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission is a producer-funded levy organization that operates under the Agrifood Act to administer a mandatory, but refundable check-off of 0.5 percent of gross sales on all mustard produced in Saskatchewan. Sask Mustard was created in 2004, originating from the Saskatchewan Mustard Growers Association, with the mission to grow the mustard industry for the benefit of producers through research, communications and market development programs.

About Mustard 21 Canada Inc.

Mustard 21 Canada Inc. (M21) is a non-profit corporation initiated by the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission and the Canadian Mustard Association. Mustard 21 supports research to develop new opportunities and grow the value-added mustard industry in Canada.


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