New wheat varieties designed for Colorado farmers

Dec 2, 2011
by WLJ

Colorado Wheat Research Foundation (CWRF) is commercializing two new hard red winter wheat varieties in Colorado. Following more than eight years of research, development and rigorous testing at Colorado State University (CSU), these two new varieties—Byrd and Brawl CL Plus—are shaping up as excellent varieties to help farmers in the High Plains region grow wheat with higher yield and test weights, resistance to drought and disease, and superiorquality baking flour.

About Byrd

Byrd topped the state average in both the dryland, or UVPT, and irrigated, or IVPT, state Variety Performance Trials in 2010 and 2011, beating the next highest ranked variety by more than 5 bushels per acre on a two-year dryland average and 4 bushels on a two-year irrigated average. Byrd also shows good drought stress tolerance, test weight, stripe rust resistance, and end-use quality. Combine all these traits with Byrd’s exceptional milling and baking quality and Ug-99 stem rust resistance, and Byrd gives farmers a definite advantage.

“If past trial data are any predictor, Byrd promises to rapidly become a dominant wheat variety in Colorado,” said Dr. Scott Haley, who manages the CSU Wheat Breeding and Genetics Program. “It has shown yields about 10 percent higher than Hatcher with comparable test weights, drought stress tolerance, and stripe rust resistance.”

About Brawl CL Plus

Brawl CL Plus is a Clearfield Plus hard red winter wheat that provides a greater degree of crop safety to Beyon herbicide for broadspectrum weed control, including problematic winter annual grassy weeds. Brawl CL Plus is the first publiclydeveloped “two-gene” Clearfield winter wheat that allows use of methylated seed oil in the tank mix with Beyond herbicide to increase the effectiveness of the herbicide, particularly on feral rye, which is tougher to control once it starts to tiller and develop.

“Brawl CL Plus has shown yields pretty similar to Above and Bond CL (other Clearfield wheat varieties), with the advantages of significantly improved test weight, stripe rust resistance, and milling and baking quality,” said Haley.

Both varieties are products of the CSU Wheat Breeding and Genetics Program, which is considered one of the best in the country.

“Colorado farmers have a long-standing relationship with CSU and the wheat breeding program,” said CWRF President and seed grower Dan Anderson, “The additional royalty funding that we put in through seed sales has driven the program to be able to develop an even greater, more widely-adapted germplasm base than any other public or private wheat breeding program.”

The success of this program is evident with the two new varieties released in Colorado and a third new variety, Denali, which was also developed at CSU and will be primarily marketed in Kansas through a strategic partnership with the Kansas Wheat Alliance, and in Nebraska through a strategic partnership with Nu- Pride Genetics.

Byrd and Brawl CL Plus were both made available to seed growers this fall, and will be available to wheat growers around the state for planting on a limited basis in 2012. Byrd and Brawl CL Plus were developed with support from the CSU Agricultural Experiment Station, Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee and CWRF. — WLJ