The Washington Grain Commission has released its survey of wheat varieties planted for the 2017 harvest season, and Otto came out on top.
The top five winter wheat varieties were Washington State University’s Otto, with 221,975 acres; Syngenta’s SY Ovation with 189,244 acres; WSU Clearfield variety Curiosity CL+ with 155,421 acres; ORCF-102 with 126,593 acres and WestBred’s WB1529 with 64,552 acres.
Commission CEO Glen Squires said farmers plant varieties with good agronomic characteristics, good emergence, disease packages and good yields. The survey helps identify what’s available for growers, the industry and overseas buyers.
Other varieties move up as time progresses and farmers get more comfortable with them, he said.
Arron Carter, WSU winter wheat breeder, said Otto is doing well across environments.
“It’s one of those varieties people can plant and rely on from year to year,” he said.
In 2016, SY Ovation led the pack with 248,368 acres, followed by Otto with 221,398 acres; ORCF-102 with 208,608 acres; Curiosity CL+ with 144,675 acres; WSU variety Xerpha with 118,720 acres and WB1529 with 71,184 acres.
In 2017, soft white winter club wheat Crescent, from the USDA Agricultural Research Service, rose to 98,484 acres over Bruehl, with 55,574 acres. Last year, Bruehl had the top spot, with 188,030 acres to Crescent’s 60,944 acres. Squires believes the change was a reflection of concerns over falling number scores, the quality test used to measure starch damage. Bruehl is susceptible to starch damage, but typically a top variety, he said.
For hard red winter wheats, Keldin came in first with 100,911 acres. Limagrain Cereal Seeds’ LCS Jet had 97,830 acres, followed by SY Clearstone 2CL with 50,006 acres and Farnum with 30,444 acres.
In 2016, Keldin was tops with 99,101 acres, followed by SY Clearstone 2CL with 31,117 acres; LCS Jet with 25,594 acres; LCS Azimut with 19,025 acres and Farnum with 17,880 acres.
Louise led the top five soft white common spring wheats in 2017 with 56,368 acres, followed by WB6121 with 36,623 acres; Diva with 18,384 acres; WB-1035 CL+ with 18,280 acres and Whit with 17,199 acres.
In 2016, WB6121 led the pack with 66,846 acres, followed by Louise with 53,712 acres; Diva with 37,158 acres; Whit with 34,661 acres and WB-1035 CL+ with 22,823 acres.
JD was the only soft white club spring wheat with 21,477 acres in 2017, down from 22,041 acres in 2016.
Hard white spring wheat totaled 389 acres, with 219 planted to WB-Hartline and 171 planted to Dayn in 2017. That’s down from 2016’s 1,114 acres, with 820 planted to WB-Hartline and 294 planted to Dayn.
The top five hard red spring wheat acres in 2017 were Glee with 53,717 acres; Kelse with 46,214 acres, Expresso with 41,208 acres; WB9518 with 36,898 acres and Solano with 20,688 acres.
In 2016, Glee was on top with 41,848 acres; Expresso with 39,464 acres; WB9518 with 35,037; Kelse with 31,966 acres and Buck Pronto with 71,583 acres.
Squires said the crop was 80 percent winter wheat and 20 percent spring wheat. Winter wheat was 82 percent white wheat and 18 percent red wheat, while spring wheat was 59 percent red wheat and 41 percent white wheat.
Growers in 2017 planted 1.81 million winter wheat acres, down 7.4 percent from 1.95 million acres in 2016.
They planted 446,000 spring wheat acres in 2017, down 8.9 percent from 490,000 acres in 2016.
Total acres planted reached 2.25 million acres in 2017, 7.7 percent lower than 2.44 million acres in 2016.
The characteristics growers look for in varieties depend on location, Carter said. In his breeding program, he’s working to find new sources of snow mold resistance and exploring resistance to nematodes and fusarium crown rot.
“What the growers are asking for, we’re trying to give them,” he said.