AGRIPRO SEEDS, INC.
P.O. Box 30, Berthoud, CO 80513.
Wheat product development.
1997 was a busy year for the AgriPro research team. AgriPro variety products continue to occupy approximately 10 % of the U.S. wheat acreage. Our efforts focus on North American general commodity releases, and an expanding effort of developing niche value-added identity preserved unique quality markets. We have two projects at full commercialization, three at commercial start-up, and several others in the research discovery phase.
Fusarium has been a major problem in North America for the past five seasons and continues to be a focal point for us. Dr. Mariana Ittu from the Fundulea Institute in Romania visited our Colorado location this year. We have incorporated several of her Fusarium-screening procedures with good success.
Hard winter wheat.
John Moffatt, Breeder, and Research Assistants, Jerry Brick and Bruce Fishburn.
Our 1996-97 crop season was once again atypical. The winter was very mild and allowed the crop to grow through the winter. Moisture on western dryland was depleted early and resulted in a fairly significant early spring drought that continued in the far west until 1 June. Vigorous growth during the winter was a good situation for cattlemen but also allowed wheat pests such as greenbug, oat bird cherry aphid, and leaf rust to overwinter and thrive in the south. Although the weather was drier than normal over the winter, the crop was still in fairly good condition by spring green-up.
Most of the region experienced temperatures below 20 F during mid-April. Initial disaster estimates for regional wheat production were very grim, because much of the crop development was well past jointing in central Kansas and as far along as flowering in Texas, Oklahoma, and southwest Kansas. Primary tiller death in these areas promoted new tiller growth and, although this delayed the eventual harvest, final production in these areas was much better than that in the previous crop year. Most of the crop in central Kansas suffered slight stem damage, little or no sterility, and no tiller death. What early prognosticators could not have predicted was good to moderate levels of rainfall and very mild temperatures following the freeze and well into the month of June. These favorable weather conditions allowed the crop to recover, and the net result was a record crop in Kansas and normal production in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Nebraska.
In Texas, Oklahoma, and southern Kansas, leaf rust overwintered and built to heavy levels on previously resistant varieties, i.e., Jagger, 2163, and 2137. Ordinarily this rust buildup would have continued on into the season and spread farther north. However, the freeze and/or dry weather early in the spring stopped the northward spread of leaf rust.
AgriPro selection and yield evaluations for 1996-97 were based on northern performance, because all southern locations in Texas and Oklahoma were lost to hail. We were able to harvest 8 of 11 yield-test locations. The Berthoud irrigated nursery encountered extreme high temperatures shortly after flowering, a condition that abbreviated grain fill and limited final yields. Yields at this location averaged 116 bu/A. Yields of popular cultivars ranged from 84 to 138 bu/A. Yields at seven continuous/fallow sites averaged 66 bu/A and ranged from 51 bu/A at Geneva, NE, to 94 bu/A at Salina, KS.
Hard red spring wheat.
Joe A. Smith, Sr. Breeder, and Research Assistants, Scott Seifert, Linda Sizemore, and Stephanie Slough.
The 1997 season got off to a late start with planting about 2 weeks later than normal. This was followed by dry and warm early-season conditions followed by rainy weather at heading time. Our crop suffered from both conditions; stressed in early season and then infected by Fusarium at heading. The Fusarium infections rivaled the heavy levels occurring in the 1993 season. All five of our sites were harvested with acceptable data. Early and late types yielded similarly, but varieties that were more prone to Fusarium infections exhibited low test weights. Among our releases, AgriPro Lars was the top yielder, but its test weight was low; AgriPro Gunner yielded higher than normal and maintained high test weight and protein; and AgriPro Nora yielded below normal, apparently hurt by the early season stress.
With the regular scab infections since 1993, we have been making steady progress in the incorporation of the Asian sources of resistance into our germplasm. Our first yield entries with this background were tested at two locations. A much larger group of lines will be tested in 1998. We will be doing some accelerated production on the best of these. We hope that a beneficial variety will be identified in this first group of adapted materials.
Our next spring wheat release has been named Agripro Hagar, tested under the experimental designation N92-0434. This line has high yield, good test weight, and broad-based foliar disease protection. Agripro Hagar is medium-late in maturity. This cultivar comes from standard germplasm and has fair protection to fusarium. The protein levels have been high, about 1 % higher than Agripro Lars. The primary market will be along the northern areas of the spring wheat region of North Dakota and Minnesota. Precautions will need to be taken in the scab areas.
Our next durum wheat release has been named AgriPro Kari, tested under the experimental designation D91-1551. This durum wheat is intermediate in height and medium in maturity. Based on limited data, it has exhibited very good yields and good test weights across the durum region.
Delta soft red winter wheat.
J. Barton Fogleman, Jr. and Michael L. Montgomery. P. O. Box 2365, Jonesboro, AR 72402-2365 USA .
1996-97 midsouth seasonal summary: Autumn was wet, and seedings were delayed in many areas. Well-drained fields produced good stands, but some waterlogging damage was present in most fields. November and early spring were quite wet and the season was cool but not extremely cold. Some long vernalization varieties that were planted in November did not vernalize properly in the southern part of the region. A number of foliar diseases were present in late spring (such as barley yellow dwarf virus, leaf rust, and bacterial leaf stripe). The late spring grain-fill period was much longer and cooler than normal, leading to excellent grain yields in the region even from some varieties that should have sustained considerable damage from the leaf rust. Our leaf rust population appears to be experiencing a race shift, because a number of previously resistant varieties were noted to have leaf rust. Two of our newer varieties, Agripro Mason and Agripro Shiloh, continue to exhibit very good to excellent resistance to leaf rust. We continue to study variety response to rotation with rice and variety response to heavy clay soils.
No AgriPro brand hard winter cultivars were released in 1997.
Agripro Shelby is a new SRWW release from our program that is adapted to the coastal plain regions of North and South Carolina, the deep south, and the Mississippi river delta regions.
Northern soft red winter wheat.
Curtis Beazer and Eugene Glover. 6025 West 300 South, Lafayette IN 47905, USA.
The 1997 season brought several changes to our research program. First, we relocated from the Brookston location into facilities at Lafayette, IN. This was a change of only 20 miles, but a big change to lighter soil types. Our new phone number is 765-572-2001 and FAX is 765-572-2003. This move offers some good advantages that will enable us to continue developing competitive northern soft red varieties. The second big change was that we harvested one of the best crops experienced in this region for several years. Several states reported record yields from reduced acreage with above average quality.
After a cold winter with moderate winterkill, we experienced a very wet early spring. The prospect of another heavy scab year loomed. Fortunately, temperatures after heading were very cool and to our surprise scab incidence was very light. A long cool spring is atypical, so we experienced low incidence of our usual diseases (rust, Septoria) and heavy incidence from some less common ones. We noted heavy WSMV, WSSMV, and tan spot. Leaf and glume blotch came in late and had little effect on yield. Powdery mildew was light, and leaf rust was quite rare. We also found scattered incidences of Cephlasporium stripe. Heavy spindle streak and excessive water saturation caused us to abandon one test location in southern Indiana.
A new cultivar, Agripro Bradley, was released in 1997. Agripro Bradley was tested as experimental 92M-3122 and is a medium height, medium late maturity cultivar that was observed to maintain yield and test weight in the heavy scab years of 1995-96. The cultivar has very good winter survival, and test weights have been excellent.
United Grain Growers, Rosebank, Manitoba, Canada.
Agripro and United Grain Growers have a large wheat development project for Western Canada. Our predominant emphasis has been on the CWRS class with a smaller effort on CPS and winter wheat. In 1997, we generated good data from all of our eight locations located in the black soil zones of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Our main breeding site at Rosebank, Manitoba, had a substantial Fusarium infection. This natural infection over the past 3 years has confirmed that our greenhouse screening established over the past 2 years is useful in selecting for resistance. The base of our resistance is Asian sources, but other types of useful resistance and tolerance have been identified and are being incorporated into the germplasm.