Preliminary Report
 1996 Wheat TriaIs
 The following is the preliminary variety trial information for 
 single (1996) and multiple year (1994-1996) comparisons in 
 Minnesota. Average yield data for newer varieties which were only 
 grown for one or two years have been adjusted mathematical to 
 allow valid comparisons. Two-year and especially one-year data 
 are less reliable and should be interpreted with caution.  
 Similarly, averages across multiple environments, whether they 
 are different years and/or locations, provide a better estimate 
 of mean performance. The least significant difference or LSD is a 
 statistical method to determine whether the observed yield 
 differences between two varieties is due to true, genetic 
 differences between the varieties or to interactions with other 
 variables such as the presence of disease and difference in soil 
 fertility. If the yield difference between two varieties equals 
 or exceeds the LSD value, the higher yielding was indeed superior 
 in yield. If the difference was less, the yield difference may 
 have been due to environmental interactions rather than genetic 
 differences, and we are unable to distinguish the better of the 
 two. The 5% unit indicates that with 95% confidence, the observed 
 difference is indeed a true difference in performance. Lowering 
 this confidence level will allow more varieties to be different 
 from each other, but increases the changes that false conclusions 
 are drawn.
 The 1996 season was just like 1995, different from the norm.  
 Delayed planting, repeated flooding, orange wheat blossom midge, 
 scab, and drought all impacted the wheat crop. Similar to 1995, 
 scab was not present in production statewide, but rather limited 
 to the northern tier counties. Yields in the southern part of the 
 state were record breaking. The average yields of the southern 
 locations (St. Paul, Waseca and Lamberton) was 62 bushels per 
 acre this year. This compares to an average of 57 bushels per 
 acre in 1995 and a three-year average of 52 bushels per acre. No 
 data was collected at the West Central Experiment Station in Mor-
 ris this year. The northern locations (Crookston, Stephen, and 
 Roseau) averaged 49 bushels per acre in 1996 compared to 43 
 bushels per acre last year and a three-year average of 39 bushels 
 per acre.
 Table 4 presents the average grain yield for the combined 
 locations in the north, south, and the whole state for both 1996 
 and the three-year averages. The varieties are ranked by 
 maturity, not yield. In this year's yield trials, Nordic, Verde, 
 and Marshall were among the highest yielding varieties across the 
 southern locations. All varieties yielding more than 59.9 bushels 
 per acre are within the first LSD 5% unit of 9.8 bushels per 
 acre. Statistically meaning that we are unable to conclude that 
 any variety within this group has a higher yield potential.
 The three-year average (1994- 1996) data shows Oxen, Hamer, Lars 
 and Russ as top yielders. Again, any variety yielding more than 
 56.6 bushels per acre is within the first LSD unit of 5.1 bushels 
 per acre, indicating that statistically we are unable to 
 distinguish the varieties for their yield potential from one 
 another.  Verde, Hamer, Lars and Oxen were the top producing 
 varieties across the northern locations this year.  Although 13 
 varieties yielded more than 50.7 bushels per acre and are all 
 within the first LSD unit of 8 bushels per acre. Over the three-
 year average (1994-1996), Lars and Norlander are on top. 
 Similarly to the single year data, 10 varieties yielding more 
 than 45.3 bushels per acre are all within the first LSD unit of 
 4.5 bushels per acre.
 Certainly, grain yield is very important in varietal choices. 
 However, net return per acre in dollars is not simply a function 
 of bushels but also of what management inputs (chemical, 
 fertilizer, machinery) were needed to realize that yield. 
 Response to disease, grain quality, and other agronomic 
 characteristics like lodging susceptibility may impact your deci-
 sion as a function of your ability to manage these risks or 
 limiting factors which could affect your net return per acre.
 Varietal characteristics are presented in Table 5. All values are 
 three-year averages (1994-1996) except for scab values which are 
 based on 1995 and 1996 data. The foliar disease rating is based 
 on data from North Dakota State University trials. The foliar 
 disease rating is based on a complex of leaf diseases, including 
 Septoria, tan spot, and bacterial diseases. The rating does not 
 differentiate among these diseases. Therefore, the rating should 
 be used with care and only with consideration for varietal 
 selection in areas where these diseases historically have been a 
 problem or if the previous crop was either wheat or barley.
 The varietal response to scab is presented as a severity rating 
 similar to the rating for leaf and stem rust. The resistance to 
 spread in the head is presented in the severity rating and is one 
 of the resistance mechanisms.  In addition, a second rating is 
 provided to characterize the ability of a variety to maintain 
 sound, plump kernels despite disease symptoms. The ability to 
 maintain sound, plump kernels is a second component to 
 Variety selection for 1997 should again be a balance between 
 yield potential, disease responses and quality parameters. 
 Pioneer 2375 still dominates the average because of its tolerance 
 to scab but has susceptibility to Septoria and tan spot.  In 
 addition, problems with shattering, lodging and poor competition 
 with weeds increase as the variety is grown further north, 
 especially north of US Highway 2.
 This year one new private and two new public varieties were 
 released.  The University of Minnesota released BacUp, while 
 South Dakota State University released Oxen.  Western Plant 
 Breeders released Sharpshooter. Unfortunately, this variety was 
 not included in the state yield trial.  AgriPro's Gunner was 
 included in the yield trial but release was delayed to 1997. Two 
 varieties from the Agriculture Canada's program were also 
 included in the results. AC Cora was tested for the second year 
 and AC Domain was tested for the first time.
 A short description of each of the new entries, including 
 Sharpshooter, is provided below. Except for Gunner, which will be 
 increased for certified seed in 1997, dealers should have enough 
 seed for at least 50,000 acres of each of these new varieties.
 1.  BacUp is an awned, very early maturing hard red spring wheat 
 from the University of Minnesota with a low to intermediate yield 
 potential. BacUp segregates for plant height and is susceptible 
 to lodging and leaf disease, similar to Sharp but better than 
 2375. BacUp is both resistant to leaf and stem rust. Insufficient 
 data from NDSU was available to provide a reliable foliar disease 
 rating.  BacUp is resistant to scab both for spread through the 
 head or expressed in the severity rating as well as it's ability 
 to maintain sound, plump kernels as expressed in the tolerance. 
 BacUp has very high test weight, and very high grain protein 
 percentage, as much as 2.0 percentage points higher than Grandin. 
 The milling and baking quality are excellent, similar to Grandin.  
 BacUp is specialty use wheat. Do not plant BacUp on more than 15 
 to 20% of your acreage. Use the high quality of BacUp to improve 
 quality of other wheat through blending. 
 2.  Oxen is an awned, medium early hard red spring wheat from 
 South Dakota State University with a high yield potential and a 
 wide area of adaptation.  Oxen is a semi-dwarf wheat with short 
 to intermediate plant height and intermediate to low resistance 
 to lodging, similar to Kulm but better than Sharp. Oxen is 
 moderately resistant to both leaf rust and stem rust. Oxen is 
 moderately resistant to scab, similar to Butte 86, but less than 
 2375. Oxen has a medium test weight, similar to Russ and Verde, 
 and a medium grain protein percentage, similar to 2375 or Hamer. 
 The milling and baking quality are equal to Russ and 2375.
 3.  Sharpshooter is a new release from Western Plant Breeders 
 derived from a cross of Sharp with a Chinese spring wheat, used 
 as a source of resistance to scab.  According to its breeder, 
 Sharpshooter is very similar to Sharp in most agronomic, quality, 
 and disease response characteristics.  Sharpshooter differs from 
 Sharp in its response to scab.  Under heavy disease pressure, 
 Sharpshooter can out yield Sharp while maintaining better seed 
 4.  Gunner is a late maturing variety from Agri-Pro with an 
 intermediate to high yield potential.  Gunner is a tall stature 
 wheat with good resistance to lodging, similar to Marshall. 
 Gunner is moderately susceptible to leaf rust, but resistant to 
 stem rust. Based on limited data, Gunner has good foliar disease 
 resistance, similar to Lars. Gunner is moderately resistant to 
 moderately susceptible to scab, similar to 2375, and maintains 
 test weight and sound kernels as good or close to 2375. Gunner 
 has high grain protein percentage and medium high to high test 
 weight, similar to Grandin.  Milling and baking quality are 
 medium to high, similar to Kulm.