New Wheat Combo Headed to Fields

July 23, 2016 02:28 AM
New Wheat Combo Headed to Fields

Montana State University licenses a new hard red spring wheat to Northern Seed

As the need for better quality and more weather- and pest-hardy wheat is on the rise, companies are jumping to meet farmer demands. Through a licensing agreement, Northern Seed will lead the market development, data collection and production plans for a new Clearfield wheat line from Montana State University (MSU).

The new hard red spring wheat variety, experimental number MT1173, is created by crossing MSU’s Vida and BASF’s Clearfield wheat with herbicide-resistant genes. 

According to BASF, Clearfield wheat offers the only complete herbicide tolerant system for wheat. The tolerance allows farmers to spray Beyond herbicide to help control weeds, such as feral rye, that can rob fields of yield.

Vida was specifically selected to cross with herbicide-resistant Clearfield genes due to its gluten strength, protein content and yield, says Luther Talbert, professor at MSU College of Agriculture’s Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology. Vida was released in 2005, and MSU researchers report it has moderate resistance to leaf and stripe rust but shows some susceptibility to stem rust. It is a semi-dwarf wheat variety.

MT1173 is yielding more than most other wheat varieties in Montana. The new variety is showing similar if not higher yields than parent line Vida, according to data from 2012 and 2013 yield trials (the most recent data available). Grain protein and height of the new variety is also similar to Vida but appears to head later.

Talbert, who leads testing and research on the variety, says MT1173 is created with traditional plant breeding methods rather than genetic engineering to achieve this unique cross.

Northern Seed will license this variety, in addition to other seed products through previous licensing agreements. Their relationship with MSU is ongoing, having entered an agreement to license more than 700 durum wheat varieties from the university only a year ago.

Hard red spring wheat is typically used for bread, hard baked goods or high gluten flour. Durum wheat is one of the main ingredients in pasta due to it’s lower elasticity. 

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