Kansas Wheat Alliance varieties continue to be the leading hard red winter and hard white wheat varieties planted in the state of Kansas. Both developed by Kansas State University, the top hard red winter wheat was Everest and the top hard white wheat was Danby. This is according to the February 2015 “Kansas Wheat Varieties” report from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Everest continued to be the leading variety of all wheat seeded in Kansas, accounting for 15.8 percent of the state’s 2015 planted wheat acres. Everest was the most popular variety in the eastern two thirds of the state.
Everest had solid field reports from eastern and central Kansas and Oklahoma in 2014. It remains the “go-to” variety for these areas. Its yield record in K-State tests was fairly average in 2014 and 2013, but very good in 2012. Everest may need to be sprayed for either stripe rust or tan spot. In the absence of those leaf diseases, it has very few other weaknesses in central and eastern Kansas. It will not get too lush when conditions are good early, so it stays within itself when conditions turn hot and dry late in the season. It fills well under stress.
Hard white varieties accounted for 2.7 percent of the state’s acreage. Danby was, once again, the leading hard white variety, accounting for just less than 50 percent of the state’s white wheat. The majority of the white wheat was planted in the southwestern portion of the state.
Danby has been a strong workhorse white wheat for many years. Danby has good sprouting tolerance. It has generally had a very good yield record, both in the K-State yield tests and in farmers’ fields. It has very good drought tolerance. It is susceptible to stripe rust and leaf rust, but those diseases can be controlled with fungicides. It has intermediate tolerance to wheat streak mosaic. With its good sprouting tolerance, Danby takes some of the risk out of growing white wheat.
TAM 111 retained its position as second overall in the state with 9.1 percent of the acreage and is the leading variety in all three of the western districts. T158 remained in third with 5.1 percent of the state’s acreage, whereas WB Cedar jumped four spots into fourth place with 4.9 percent of the acreage. TAM 112 dropped from fourth to fifth with 4.0 percent. Winter Hawk maintained its position at sixth with 3.8 percent. Armour fell from fifth to seventh place with 2.7 percent of the state’s acreage. Duster dropped one spot to eighth with 1.9 percent. Denali, also licensed in the state by Kansas Wheat Alliance, made its top ten debut in ninth with 1.8 percent. Endurance rounded up the top ten with 1.6 percent, maintaining its position from 2014.
Area planted with blended varieties was not included in the rankings by variety. Blends accounted for 9.6 percent of the state’s planted acreage and were used more extensively in the north central, east central and central areas of the state.
Kansas Wheat Commission, which provided funding for the Wheat Variety report, has been a long-time supporter of K-State’s wheat breeding program. The wheat breeding program also receives generous funding for its efforts from Kansas Crop Improvement Association and Kansas Wheat Alliance. There is tremendous producer support in the state and region for K-State’s wheat varieties and breeding program.
The goal of the wheat breeding program is to develop and release new public hard winter varieties through the Kansas Wheat Alliance. Some germplasm lines are also released, in conjunction with the USDA wheat genetics program based on the K-State campus. The program focuses on the following traits:
- High grain yield
- Minor gene, durable resistance to leaf rust and stripe rust
- Heat and drought tolerance
- Resistance to Fusarium head scab, barley yellow dwarf, and Hessian fly
- High quality for pan bread and noodle making
Thanks to wheat breeding programs like the one at Kansas State University, producers have ever-improving options of wheat varieties to plant. Whether it’s improved resistance or increased yields, wheat breeders are creating varieties that meet producers’ changing needs.