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Three new wheats now available from Montana State researchers.

March 31, 2011

2 Min Read

Three new solid-stemmed wheat varieties have just been approved for release by the Montana State University Agricultural Experiment Station. Foundation seed increase is already underway.

MSU is a major supplier of new wheat varieties for Montana growers with about 2.5 million acres of the university's cultivars produced in the state last year.

Duclair spring wheat is a cross between Choteau and an experimental line, explains MSU plant breeder Luther Talbert. The name comes from an old Montana map, showing Duclair as a postal site in the heart of sawfly country near Turner.

Duclair's solid stems resist sawfly attacks, he says. Wheat with solid stems make life difficult and often short for the pest.

Wheat stem sawfly feed on the inside of wheats. The most obvious damage caused by the insect is breaking of stems weakened by larval tunneling. Montana producers lost $25 million last year due to the state's most destructive ag pest.

Duclair gets a high yield potential due to long green leaf duration from the experimental line, MT0249. The longer leaves remain green, providing additional time for seeds to grow, creating larger grain kernels.

"Duclair has shown excellent yield potential in the dry land areas," says Talbert, "especially in trials which faced significant sawfly pressure."

A yet-unnamed release – "Judee" is being considered -- experimentally listed as MTS0713, is a winter wheat being released as a potential replacement for Genou, according to MSU breeder Phil Bruckner. It is a cross between a Vanguard derivative and the semidwarf AgriPro line NuHorizon. 

Relative to Genou, the newcomer is about four bushels higher in yield, and has "significant" stem solidness, reports Bruckner.  Stripe rust resistance in the variety is "good," he adds, and it provides "excellent milling quality."

The suggestion of naming the variety "Judee" is in honor of a former Extension agent, Judee Wargo, who worked for 35 years for the MSU service before she died in 2009.

The third wheat released is another yet unofficially named, but being considered as "Bearpaw."

The winter wheat, experimentally called MTS0721, is a potential replacement for Rampart. It originates from a composite cross of multiple lines and has primarily Rampart parentage, but is an estimated seven bushels higher in yield. It exhibits "high stem solidness,"  Bruckner says.

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