Pat is a new soft red winter wheat developed for Mid-South wheat growers by the University of Arkansas wheat breeding program headed by Robert Bacon. It was named in honor of Pat Sullivan, a well-known wheat producer from Mississippi County, Ark., who was the first president of the Arkansas Wheat Growers Association and was extremely active in the promotion of soft red winter wheat production in the South.
Pat is a well-adapted wheat that should fit most production systems in Arkansas and other Mid-South states. It performs well on clay soils and tight silt loams with rice in rotation.
In appearance, it resembles AgriPro Shelby, a popular wheat variety the past few years. Pat averages 36 to 38 inches tall and has had no lodging problems in three years of testing.
Pat is an awned variety and matured about May 25 the past two years in Arkansas, similar to currently popular soft red winter wheat varieties in the state.
Nitrogen rate studies indicate optimum rate would be 135 pounds per acre on silt loams and 150 pounds per acre on clays.
Pat is resistant to most of the major wheat diseases in Arkansas, including stripe rust, which has eaten some popular varieties here in 2000 and again in 2002. In field testing, Pat is resistant to both soilborne viruses, making it a good choice for northeast Arkansas where these are problems. Pat has good resistance to current races of leaf rust in the South as well. Like most soft red winter wheats, Pat is moderately susceptible to Septoria leaf blotch. Pat is susceptible to powdery mildew, a disease that is a rare problem in the Mid-South.
Pat has high-yield potential, excellent test weight and excellent baking quality. In two years of side-by side-plot comparisons in Arkansas and Mississippi, Pat had the highest numerical yield at 73.7 bushels per acre. In 28 field trials across Arkansas over three years, Pat was in the top ten wheat varieties in both the standard input trials and the high input trials. In these tests, Pat averaged 72.8 bushels per acre under standard input and 80.5 bushels per acre under high input.
Pat has high test weight. In 17 field tests across Arkansas during 2001 and 2002, Pat was one of the top five wheat varieties for test weight, averaging 56.3 pounds per bushel.
Seed will be limited this fall, but some is available if you hurry. Ask your local seed dealer about the availability of Pat seed or search for Pat under wheat acreage on the Arkansas State Plant Board Website at www.plantboard.org. This site lists the seed growers and other sources for Pat wheat seed in Arkansas.
The development of Pat wheat was supported by check-off funds from Arkansas wheat farmers through the Arkansas Wheat Promotion Board.
William Johnson is the Arkansas Extension wheat specialist. Rick Cartwright is an Arkansas Extension plant pathologist.