Several Winter Wheat Options Available to Producers
As harvest season continues to move along, now is the time of year when farmers are thinking about whether to plant winter wheat.
Winter wheat is a good option when considering what to plant. Yields typically are higher for winter wheat than spring wheat. Planting winter wheat can also help producers spread out the workload, but there is always the risk of fall drought and then the risk of winter kill is ever present when planting winter wheat in North Dakota. In most years the benefits have out-weighed the risks and is a gamble many are willing to take. Even after winter damage many winter wheat stands are still capable of adequate yields due to the surviving plants’ tillering ability.
According to Dale Williams, director of the North Dakota State University Foundation Seedstocks Project, although winter wheat generally is priced less than spring wheat because it typically has lower protein than spring wheat, variances in price are related to industry need. In years where high protein is plentiful, there can be little difference in what the producer will be paid when selling.
If the decision is to plant winter wheat, there are some excellent public varieties to choose from.
Here are some varieties to consider:
Decade – It was developed by the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station and jointly released with the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station in 2010. It performs well in western North Dakota and has high yield potential. Decade has medium height and maturity. Its milling and baking characteristics are excellent.
Ideal – This variety was released from the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station in 2011. It has high yield potential and is adapted to the northern winter wheat production region. Ideal has good disease resistance to tan spot, leaf rust and stem rust.
Jerry – It was released from the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station in 2001. It is high yielding and has broad adaptation across North Dakota. It also is winter hardy and has good test weight and quality characteristics.
Darrell – This variety was developed by the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and jointly released with the Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station in 2006. It is a medium-maturing wheat and has excellent yield potential. Darrell also has good resistance to stem rust.
Overland – It was developed by the Nebraska Agriculture Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, and jointly released with the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station in 2007. It has good test weight and straw strength, and medium height. Overland is moderately resistant to stripe and stem rusts and moderately resistant to leaf rust.
Average yields of Decade, Ideal, Jerry and Overland were high in the North Dakota hard red winter wheat variety trials, with three-year yield averages at Dickinson, Hettinger and Minot of 83.6, 82.1, 79.2 and 79.5 bushels per acre, respectively. All four of these public varieties topped 75 bushels per acre in 2014 at trials in Dickinson and Hettinger, with Decade even breaking three-digit yields, with 102.2 and 102.9 bushels per acre.
These varieties also performed very well in eastern North Dakota. Ideal came out on top in 2014 in the fungicide application trials, yielding 72.8 bushels per acre and competing against 19 other popular varieties. Decade, Ideal, Jerry and Overland broke the 80 bushels-per-acre mark in an eastern location in the trials.
Ideal, Jerry and Overland were among the leaders in test weight, with 57.4, 57.5 and 57.7 pounds per bushel, respectively, in 2014 variety trials.
Grain protein also is an important factor to consider when selecting a variety to grow. In the 2014 trials, Decade performed well in the protein arena, with 13.5 percent.
For more information on the performance of these and other varieties, visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/varietytrials for NDSU variety trial results. Consult the North Dakota State Seed Department Field Seed Directory at www.ndseed.com for a local North Dakota certified seed producer or retailer of these varieties. For information about foundation seed, contact NDSU’s North Central Research Extension Center at 857-7677, the NDSU Williston Research Extension Center at 774-4315 or the Foundation Seedstocks Project at 231-8140.
Source: Dale Williams, North Dakota State University Foundation Seedstocks
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