Patience is the middle name of Prof. David Wolyn. For decades, he’s been an asparagus breeder in the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph. His most significant contribution is breeding Millennium that yields more and has stand longevity. He is this year’s University of Guelph Innovation of the Year award winner.
Since the late 1980s, Wolyn has focused on producing hardy asparagus for colder northern winters to improve yield, quality and disease resistance. University of Guelph’s asparagus breeding program has produced and released the Guelph Eclipse, Guelph Equinox and Guelph Millennium varieties. Millennium is now the predominant variety grown in Ontario.
All of the varieties are male-only hybrids, renowned for yields three to four times higher than those of open-pollinated varieties that were once the industry standard.
In typical fashion, Wolyn credited his team for their long-term efforts such as past and current members: Paul Banks, Richard Grzesik, Rachel Riddle and Rob Grohs.
Source: University of Guelph October 9, 2019 news release