A hard red winter wheat from Germany may boost wheat yields around the Pacific Northwest.
Jean-Bruno Beaufumé, Limagrain Cereal Seeds Pacific Northwest wheat breeder in Waitsburg, Wash., has been testing LCS Colonia in the region for two years. He said it showed high yields in variety trials across different environments, making it a promising new variety.
Other positive features include winter hardiness and good resistance to diseases like straw breaker, foot rot, stripe rust and cephalosporium stripe, Beaufumé said.
“We don’t see any weakness or concern for the short term for that variety,” he said.
The variety has a higher biomass, growing taller and withstanding drier conditions than classical European varieties.
LCS Colonia was in private trials the first year and state trials the second year. The variety will be available in small quantities next year and then in larger quantities in two years, Beaufumé said.
“I don’t have any crystal ball, but my theory is it can become a leading hard red variety very soon,” he said.
A University of Idaho spring soft white wheat variety, UI Stone, is launching this year as part of the partnership between the university and Limagrain. The variety is good in yield and has resistance to fusarium head blight, a problem in some areas where corn production has increased, Beaufumé said.
UI Stone seed is available for 2014 spring planting.
Limagrain is receiving good grower feedback on its previous wheat variety releases Artdeco and Azimut.
New varieties entered in variety trials include a soft white wheat, Biancor, with high yield potential and good test weights; soft white NSA10-1073, focused on dryland production; and LWW 12-7105, a short soft white variety for high rainfall and irrigated areas with a high yield potential. New hard red wheats include LCS 10-7208, a high-yielding variety; LCS Evina, a high-quality hard red wheat; and LCS Allezy, another high-yielding variety.
Beaufumé is pleased with the progress of his program.
“I think we’ve been faster than many people expected,” he said.”We are introducing into the market varieties with a broader range of diversity. They’re still one or two years to market, but we’ll get there.”