Wheat variety ‘Picks’ offered statewide by Texas A&M AgriLife

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu
Contacts: Dr. Clark Neely, 979-862-1412, cneely@ag.tamu.edu

COLLEGE STATION – While many varieties remain the same in Texas A&M AgriLife’s annual wheat “Picks” for producers across the state, suggestions are being made that one region find alternatives to hard red winter wheat.

Wheat variety trials similar to this one are grown around the state by Texas A&M AgriLife Research breeders. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Kay Ledbetter)

A Pick variety means this: “Given the data, these are the varieties we would choose to include and emphasize on our farm for wheat grain production in a particular region,” according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists.

Faculty with Texas A&M AgriLife Research and AgriLife Extension collaborate by region across the state to conduct extensive wheat variety testing in both research settings and on farms and utilize this data to establish the annual Picks lists.

The team also offers an early indication of potential desirable varieties based on two or more years of data with its “watch list” of promising varieties.

Dr. Clark Neely, AgriLife Extension state small grains specialist in College Station, said all Picks list and watch list varieties were dropped in South Texas for hard red winter wheat with the exception of TAM 401, due to vernalization concerns.

“The past two winters have been extremely mild and many hard red winter wheat entries did not produce seed or were significantly delayed in maturity,” Neely said. “While many of the previous Picks list entries performed well under average or cooler-than-average winter temperatures, mild winters are common across South Texas and yield consistency is a concern for this region.”

As a result, he said, producers are encouraged to consider the hard red spring wheat options available, which are not affected by vernalization.

Neely said WB 4303 was added to the hard red winter wheat watch list for South Texas. While this variety is weaker on rust resistance, it did not show as much sensitivity to the mild temperatures the past two years and should perform well with a fungicide application.

Also noted was the fact the Picks list is based on grain production systems, but there are also good choices for dual purpose and grazing wheats. TAM 204, TAM 401 and Razor are beardless wheats that don’t always make grain-only standards, but they all produce excellent forage.

TAM 204 has good resistance to wheat curl mite, greenbugs and Hessian fly, making it a good choice for early planting in the High Plains and Rolling Plains. Both TAM 401 and Razor have good leaf and stripe rust resistance and do well in Central, North, South and the Rolling Plains.

Grain variety Picks by region are:

– In the Texas Blacklands, the hard red winter wheat Picks list includes: Gallagher, Greer, TAM 304 and WB Cedar. On the watch list are SY Llano and WB 4458. The only variety dropped from the list in 2017 was Iba. Iba’s stripe rust resistance declined considerably in the past couple of years and yields have been trending downward. Gallagher is another Oklahoma State University variety released the same year as Iba and appears to be a better fit with high yields, better rust resistance and Hessian fly resistance.

TAM 114 was on the watch list but failed to advance to the Pick’s list as it suffered from another poor performing year in the area. SY Llano has been competitive with Pick list varieties on the two-year averages for some of the Blackland locations and thus was added to the watch list. SY Llano is an earlier variety with good stripe rust resistance, but fungicide should be used during years with high leaf rust pressure. WB Cedar remains an excellent choice for the majority of the Blacklands, however, producers should be aware of vernalization issues that have occurred with this variety in the region south of Waco.

Soft red winter wheat Picks for the Blacklands are AGS 2055 and Coker 9553. Several varieties are on the watch list, including: AGS 2024, AGS 2033, AGS 2038 and USG 3895. Both Dyna-Gro 9012 and USG 3201 were dropped from the Pick’s list this year due to downward trending yields. AGS 2038 was a new addition to the watch list as it ranked third out of 13 entries tested over seven site-years and has strong rust resistance.

– In the Rolling Plains, no changes were made in the Pick’s list. TAM 114, Gallagher, WB Cedar and TAM 304 continued to have excellent performance in the Rolling Plains in terms of grain yield and disease resistance. Grain yields of Greer and WB 4458 were below average this year; however, their yield averages over the past three years remained higher than other varieties tested in the Rolling Plains. So, these two varieties were kept in the Pick’s list for the 2017-2018 growing season.

– In South Texas, all the hard red winter wheat varieties from earlier lists were dropped except TAM 401 and WB 4303 was added to the watch list.

Hard red spring wheat Picks include: Expresso, LCS Iguacu, TAMSpr 801 and WB 9518. On the Watch list is LCS Trigger. Rockland was dropped from the Picks list due to lack of testing and seed availability. LCS Iguacu, TAM Spr 801 and WB 9518 were added to the Picks list as they all ranked in the top four varieties across seven site-years. All four Picks list varieties are rated as moderately resistant to leaf and stripe rust. LCS Trigger yielded very well over the two years it has been tested and thus was added to the watch list.

Soft red winter wheat Picks are SY Cypress and USG 3120, with no varieties on the watch list. There were no changes made this year due to lack of reliable data to base any decisions.

– High Plains Picks are divided between dryland, limited irrigation and full irrigation. This year there are no differences between the dryland and limited irrigation list, which includes TAM 112, TAM 113, TAM 114, WB Grainfield, Iba, T158 and Winterhawk. The full irrigation list includes: TAM 113, TAM 114, WB Grainfield, Iba, Winterhawk and TAM 304. The only variety on the watch list in the High Plains is Denali.

The full list of Picks across the state and performance data can be found at http://varietytesting.tamu.edu/wheat/.

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