It’s crunch time on deciding what varieties to plant for the 2021 hard red winter wheat harvest and that makes right now the time to apply herbicide to kill volunteer wheat and other grassy weeds.
Seedsman Vance Ehmke, who farms near Dighton in Lane County, says he expects varieties with good tolerance of wheat streak mosaic virus to be in high demand because weather conditions through this season created a good environment for volunteer wheat — and the wheat curl mites that feed on it between harvest and new crop emergence — to thrive.
“We had a lot of lightweight wheat with high numbers of shriveled and small kernels and a lot of that went right out the back of the combine,” Ehmke says. “A lot of that was caused by dry weather before harvest combined with scorching high temps and strong winds day after day. Then we had some good post-harvest rains so the volunteer is already there. Many fields have very heavy stands.
“Compounding the problem is that this likely is going to be a low net farm income year with some farmers not wanting to spend the money on control. And others who, again, see this as a windfall of free or cheap feed for their cattle. Consequently, we could have some real problems with wheat streak mosaic.”
The good news, he says, is that there are varieties with good tolerance for the virus and supplies of seed should be adequate to meet the demand.
Product manager Josh Coltrain with Syngenta Agri-Pro agrees that wheat streak mosaic virus could be a problem this year.
“Shattering was definitely an issue in some places in the Western Plains,” he says. “Volunteer wheat is likely to be heavy in those regions, allowing for the dreaded green bridge for the curl mite and for the virus itself.”
Coltrain says Syngenta encourages farmers to control the volunteer wheat at least two weeks prior to planting the new crop.
Kansas Wheat was urging producers of the danger of major outbreak of wheat streak mosaic virus this fall as early as the last week of July. The organization said freeze damage during stem elongation caused many delayed wheat heads to emerge. Hailed out wheat also contributes to the problem.
“If volunteer has emerged and is still alive shortly after harvest in hailed-out wheat, wheat curl mites could easily build up rapidly and spread to other volunteer wheat that emerges later in the season,” the organization said in a press release.
There were also some report of head scab disease and waterlogging conditions in parts of central Kansas. All of those conditions can lead to heavy populations of volunteer wheat and raise the threat of wheat streak mosaic virus.
Mark Lubbers, product manager with WestBred, agrees that there is a higher-than-normal risk this fall both because of the weather and because of depressed prices that make it harder for farmers to find the money to spray volunteer wheat.
He says it is also more tempting to use the volunteer in fields for grazing when money is tight.
“It boils down to being a good neighbor,” he says. “You have to remember that your free cattle feed could be your neighbor’s disease disaster.”
Ehmke says he has several neighbors who have been historically negligent in controlling volunteer and that one recourse he has is to plant triticale in the fields that are close to them. If he does plant wheat, he will choose varieties with excellent resistance to the virus, naming Kansas State University’s KS Dallas as well as Whistler and Guardian from Colorado State University.
He says there continues to be big interest in triticale for grazing or haying and silage.
“That acreage keeps growing and often at the expense of wheat acre,” Ehmke says. “For 2020, there were 240,000 acres of triticale planted in Kansas. This fall, I think wheat acreage may be up somewhat because the good rains we had in July and early August have given us a pretty good moisture profile to plant into and get the 2021 crop up and growing.”
In addition to KS Dallas, Whistler and Guardian, he says he expects popular varieties this fall to include Tatanka and Oakley from K-State, Lonerider from Oklahoma State and T158 from LimaGrain.
SY Wolverine from Agri-Pro is getting attention
Josh Coltrain with Syngenta Agri-Pro said its new variety, SY Wolverine is generating a lot of buzz.
“This excitement, I truly believe, is warranted,” Coltrain says. “This new release will offer very high yield potential from the Texas panhandle all the way through to South Dakota. One of its main attributes is its tolerance of Wheat Streak Mosaic virus, which is one of the more difficult diseases to breed for.”
AP18 AX. Also new from Syngenta AgriPro is AP18 AX, a new line in the portfolio with tolerance to Aggressor herbicide.
“Our associates and the producers they sell to are excited about this new technology offering a herbicide option to control some troublesome grassy weeds. AP18 AX stands out with great straw strength, stripe rust tolerance and WSMV tolerance as well,” Coltrain says.
New hard red winter wheat lines offered by WestBred
Two new WestBred wheat varieties are available to plant this fall. Both offer an above-average combination of yield potential and protein.
WB4401. This WestBred variety is a medium-maturing variety adapted for the Central Plains. It offers excellent yield potential, test weight and end-use quality. WB4401 offers a strong disease tolerance package, including intermediate leaf and stripe rust tolerance as well as good fusarium head blight tolerance. It also offers excellent grazing potential and very good Hessian fly tolerance.
Shaun Ohlde, who farms near Palmer, says he was pleased with the performance of WB4401 on his farm.
“WB4401 looks to be rock-solid with good yield potential,” he says. “It has excellent tillering capacity for following soybeans and is an ideal maturity for our area. It also provides us the complete disease package that we need including fusarium tolerance.”
WB4309. WB4309 is a medium to early maturing variety adapted for South Dakota and the southern half of North Dakota. It offers good yield potential, strong standability, and excellent test weight and milling and baking quality. It also has a strong disease package, including good fusarium head blight resistance and very good stripe rust resistance.
Jim Klebsch, who farms near Redfield, S.D., says WB4309 handled the stress of a hard spring freeze well to yield 82 to 82 bushels per acre at harvest in July. Protein was 13.4%.
“I could not find fault with this variety. It will be popular for planting for the 2021 season because it fits this region well,” Klebsch says.
Both WB4401 and WB4309 are available for planting this fall as certified seed only.
Three new offerings from Kansas Wheat Alliance
Kansas Wheat Alliance, the marketing arm for varieties developed by Kansas State University, will market two hard red winter wheat varieties and one hard white winter wheat variety for planting this fall:
KS Silverado. KS Silverado is a hard white winter wheat best adapted to central and western Kansas, eastern Colorado, western Oklahoma, southwest Nebraska and the Texas panhandle. It has medium-early maturity, medium-to-short height and moderate shattering resistance, similar to Joe. It’s straw strength and pre-harvest sprouting resistance are good, which will allow it to move further east into south-central Kansas.
KS Silverado showed resistance to wheat streak mosaic virus at 64 degrees F. It has moderate to intermediate resistance to stripe and stem rust and wheat blast. It is resistance to leaf rust, Hessian fly and soilborne mosaic virus. It is moderately susceptible to fusarium head blight, barley yellow dwarf virus and powdery mildew. Preliminary data showed that it has intermediate resistance to Triticum mosaic virus.
KS Dallas. KS Dallas is a hard red winter wheat best adapted to the western half of Kansas, eastern Colorado, northwest Oklahoma, the Texas panhandle and southwest Nebraska. It is a medium height and medium maturity variety with a heading date similar to Tatanka.
It has moderate-to-intermediate resistance to stripe rust and good resistance to wheat streak mosaic virus, leaf rust, stem rust and wheat blasts. Its WSMV resistance can hold up to 70 degrees, which is three degrees higher than resistant varieties with WSM2. Preliminary data showed intermediate resistance to Triticum mosaic virus, the second major virus causing wheat street mosaic disease.
KS Dallas has good shattering resistance and pre-harvest sprouting resistance with average straw strength. It also has good milling and baking qualities.
KS Western Star. KS Western Star is a hard red winter wheat best adapted to central and western Kansas, eastern Colorado, northwest Oklahoma and southwest Nebraska. It has medium maturity and is a medium tall variety with high yield potential.
KS Western Star has resistance to stripe rust, leaf rust, stem rust and soilborne mosaic virus. It has very good test weight and good milling and baking qualities. It also has good preharvest sprouting resistance.
It also has wheat curl mite resistance and intermediate resistance to Triticum mosaic virus, which could help reduce the wheat streak mosaic disease in western Kansas.
“I want to recognize those wheat growers that purchase all or most of their wheat seed as Certified seed every year,” says Daryl Stouts, CEO and president of Kansas Wheat Alliance. “Everyone should thank these producers supporting the system that keeps new, competitive varieties like these coming to the market.”
KS Hamilton. Strouts adds that another new KWA variety, KS Hamilton, will go to seed producers this fall and will be available for farmers to plant in 2021. It has good WSMV resistance similar to KS Dallas but offers better rust resistance and Hessian fly resistance.
“We think Hamilton will be a good fit for producers who want to plant a little earlier,” Strouts says.
LimaGrain Cereal Seeds offers 5 new varieties
LimaGrain is offering three new CoAxium varieties with tolerance to Aggressor herbicide and two conventional varieties for farmers to plant this fall.
LCS Photon AX. LCS Photon AX has a T158 background with a medium-early maturity. It is a medium-tall plant type that handles variable pH levels extremely well. This variety is a great fit for both grazing and grain yield options. LCS Photon AX would also be a good fit behind any sorghum crop.
LCS Photon AX has a strong disease package including tolerance to stripe rust and fusarium head blight. An added bonus is its high test weight and protein content, both contributing to LCS Photon AX’s desirable end-use quality. This variety performed very well this past year and is a stand-out in drought conditions. It handles variable pH levels well.
LCS Atomic AX. This is an early maturing variety with shorter plant height. LCS Atomic AX is an ideal fit for a double crop system. LCS Atomic AX is resistant to stripe rust, leaf rust, fusarium head blight, and soil-borne mosaic virus. However, this variety does not have stem rust resistance.
LCS Atomic AX handled the freezes exceptionally well this year and has performed very well in many of the university trials and other plots throughout the area. We are seeing LCS Atomic AX win trials from Central Oklahoma all the way up into Nebraska and South Dakota. LCS Atomic AX showed excellent yield in all growing conditions this year, from drought areas to irrigation, and continues to be a top-yielding line three years running in LCS trials. In addition, LCS Atomic AX has excellent straw strength.
LCS Helix AX. LCS Helix AX thrives in the higher yield scenarios and loves nitrogen. This year, a production field in Tonkawa, Okla., surpassed the 100-bushel mark. LCS Helix AX is a great fit behind corn. LCS Helix AX is a medium-early maturity with medium height. In addition to yield, this variety is also equipped with a defensive disease package, being tolerant to stripe rust, stem rust, leaf rust, fusarium head blight and soil-borne mosaic virus. LCS Helix AX also has excellent end-use quality for baking and milling.
LCS Julep. LCS Julep shows its LCS Mint pedigree some added benefits. This variety is a true medium with excellent end-use quality. LCS Julep's straw strength, rust resistance package, and drought tolerance are huge assets. It also has a high tiller count, quick emergence, and late spring green up which has allowed this variety to handle late freezes very well over the past few years. LCS Julep also works well for grazing.
LCS Diesel. LCS Diesel is a late maturing variety bred for northern Kansas and into Nebraska. It has a full season maturity and provides resistance to stripe, stem, and leaf rust. LCS Diesel is a perfect match for a grazing or take-to-yield program. LCS Diesel has dark green leaves and an attractive head. This variety has excellent end use quality for milling and baking. It also works well behind corn because of excellent head scab resistance.