KSU releases new wheat varieties

by Holly Demaree
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Foundation seed better known as Larry, Zenda and Tatanka, will be distributed to certified seed producers this fall, and certified seed is expected to be available for farmers in the fall of 2017.
 
MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. ­— Kansas State University’s (KSU) Plant Genetics Materials Release Committee met July 27, where they approved the release of three new hard red winter wheat varieties through the Kansas Wheat Alliance.

 

Foundation seed for KS060143K-2, KS060106M-11 and KS12H56-6-4, better known as Larry, Zenda and Tatanka, will be distributed to certified seed producers this fall, and certified seed is expected to be available for farmers in the fall of 2017.

The Kansas Wheat Alliance said Larry has good resistance to stripe and stem rust as well as soil borne mosaic virus. It also has good acid soil tolerance but is moderately susceptible to leaf rust. This medium to medium-early maturity variety has shown good yield potential across south central to southwest Kansas, U.S., and into north central Oklahoma, U.S., the Kansas Wheat Alliance said.

Zenda will be an “excellent choice” for farmers to plant after corn in the eastern half of Kansas, according to the Kansas Wheat Alliance. It is a medium-early maturity, and has Everest (a wheat variety released in 2009 by KSU) making up half of its pedigree. The Kansas Wheat Alliance said Zenda has good resistance to stem rust, moderate resistance to stripe and leaf rust, good acid soil tolerance and soil borne mosaic virus resistance. It will carry a similar level of resistance to fusarium head blight as Everest, but not as good of tolerance to barley yellow dwarf, the organization said

Tatanka is a medium to medium-late maturity variety and is best adapted for western Kansas, U.S., according to the Kansas Wheat Alliance. The organization said the new variety has a good disease and drought package and will be a strong performer for farmers in this area. Additionally, Tatanka has shown good resistance to stripe and stem rust as well as moderate resistance to leaf rust, the Kansas Wheat Alliance noted. Tatanka also is resistant to soil borne mosaic virus, which may allow it to come east into central Kansas, U.S. It is not recommended for irrigated acres, due to its below average straw strength.

The Kansas Wheat Alliance is able to fund the research and development of new wheat varieties like Larry, Zenda and Tatanka through the royalty collected on the sales of KSU wheat varieties. These royalties provide funding to KSU wheat breeders and their research teams to improve yield and quality.

“Every time a farmer buys certified seed they are investing in their future,” said Daryl Strouts, president of the Kansas Wheat Alliance. “As a non-profit organization, Kansas Wheat Alliance ensures that a high percentage of the royalties go back into wheat research and variety development.”

Wheat breeders spend years developing new varieties. In addition to these three new varieties that are now approved for release, KSU has several other experimental varieties that may be ready for release in upcoming years, the Kansas Wheat Alliance said.

“These royalty dollars aren’t going to big corporations or a foreign country,” Strouts said. “They are staying here to ensure Kansas producers continue to have access to the best wheat genetics.”

The Kansas Wheat Alliance is a not-for-profit organization formed by wheat producers, researchers, and seed marketers with the goal of maximizing value for wheat farmers by promoting responsible management of new wheat varieties developed by KSU and other wheat-breeding programs. 

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