CDC Bell, a new forage oat cultivar developed at the Crop Development Centre (CDC) as part of a collaborative project with the Alberta and Saskatchewan Wheat Pools, was released in 1998.
CDC Bell comes from the cross Av2401/2 x SO86044 made at the CDC in 1989. Av2401/2 is an Avena sativa breeding line supplied to the CDC by the oat breeding project at Aberystwyth, Wales and is an A. magna derivative. SO86044 is a CDC breeding line from the cross W79478 x Calibre, where W79478 is a breeding line from the AAFC, Winnipeg program. CDC Bell was selected using a modified pedigree process with emphasis on forage yield and quality and was first identified based on its notably larger than normal leaf area and its long stay-green features.
CDC Bell has been developed primarily for use by producers in western Canada who wish to grown an annual cereal crop for "greenfeed" (oat hay) purposes. Each year some 300,000 acres of the western Canadian oat crop is destined for that end use. CDC Bell is characterized by a long stay green period and very wide, long and thick leaves. It is tall, relatively late maturing and extremely "growthy". It has good forage yield and better quality than standard grain oat cultivars. It is very susceptible to both stem and leaf rust, and because of this, should be grown only in the non-rust areas of western Canada.
Since CDC Bell was developed a part of a joint effort funded by the Alberta and Saskatchewan Wheat Pools, it has been exclusively released to those two agencies for Pedigree seed production and marketing. Certified seed should be available in good quantity for the spring of 2000.
CDC Bell is the fifth variety released by the CDC program since 1983, but is the first released specifically for forage purposes. Other varieties released include Calibre (1983), Derby (1988), CDC Boyer (1994) and CDC Pacer (1996).