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North Carolina Wheat: Variety Trial Results And Recommendations From 2012

Owen Taylor
By Randy Weisz, Extension Grain Specialist, North Carolina State University, and Christina Cowger • USDA-­‐ARS July 13, 2012

Here are wheat variety recommendations (PDF file) based on tests conducted in North Carolina in the 2010­-11 and 2011-12 growing seasons. These include tests by the North Carolina Official Variety Testing Program (OVT), Gaylon Ambrose, Georgia Love, Andrew Gardner, Randy Weisz and the Northeast Ag Expo6.

We collect yield and test weight data at every location, and update heading date and pest resistance information about each variety. Our goal is to keep this information as up to date as possible.

Our variety rankings are not always the same as those reported in the OVT, because:

  • We use additional tests not available to the OVT.
  • We may exclude some locations used in the OVT.
  • We examine both variety yield and stability of performance across years and regions.

Plant At Least Three Varie7es: The “Above­-Average Yielding” varieties are good first choices for 2012. Additionally, the “Average Yielding Varieties” are likely to produce acceptable yields but may not win a yield contest. To help with disease management, make a note of which varieties you plant where.

Avoid Spring Freeze Damage: Early-heading varieties are the most likely to be damaged by spring freezes. Conversely, late-heading varieties are likely to avoid freeze damage.

To reduce the risk of yield loss due to freeze damage, plant no more than one early heading variety, and at least one late-heading variety. Late-heading varieties yield best when planted early and should be the first ones planted. Early-heading varieties should be planted on the late side and so should be the last ones drilled in.

Make Variety Resistance Part Of A Disease Management Plan. In the last two years we have had unusually warm winter weather that was ideal for diseases like powdery mildew and leaf rust. Growers need to consider these diseases when they select varieties.

Growing varieties rated “MR” or “R” to these diseases can go a long way toward preventing yield losses. In our variety tests where leaf rust was problematic, and we applied a fungicide for disease control, the highest yielders were those that had resistance to this disease.

If you experience diseases like powdery mildew or leaf rust frequently on your farm, growing varieties with resistance to these diseases is important even if you plan on using a fungicide! Head scab can cause big losses any year in any part of the state, so minimize plantings of varieties rated “S” to scab.

Additionally, if a field has ever had symptoms of soil-borne wheat mosaic virus or wheat spindle streak mosaic virus, it is very important to always plant varieties rated MR or R for those diseases in that field.

Owen Taylor
By Randy Weisz, Extension Grain Specialist, North Carolina State University, and Christina Cowger • USDA-­‐ARS July 13, 2012