The president of the Kansas Wheat Alliance says that millers and bakers are hailing the upcoming release of a hard white wheat variety, saying that the new wheat is of excellent baking quality.
Daryl Strouts says that producers in the state may soon be thrilled, as well: The variety is resistant to many wheat diseases common in the state and should provide an improved tolerance to pre-harvest sprouting.
“The thing that it really brings out is quality,” Strouts said. “We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback from millers and bakers on it and they really like the quality of this one. It seems to be yield competitive with Joe, which is the leading white wheat in southwest Kansas right now.”
The new variety, called KS Venada, was developed by Guorong Zhang, wheat breeder at Kansas State University’s Agricultural Research Center in Hays. KS Venada will be made available to certified seed producers this fall, and available to producers next year.
Strouts noted that KS Venada is better suited for central Kansas, “south of Wichita, over to Enid and Pratt,” he said. “It will certainly perform well in western Oklahoma, western Kansas and even into eastern Colorado.”
He added that the variety is ideal for farmers who want to try a white wheat but have been concerned about pre-harvest sprouting: “I think this is one that could fit them.”
Strouts said that the variety carries good resistance to common wheat diseases, but doesn’t have wheat streak mosaic resistance, so it’s not likely to be pushed heavily in western Kansas.
White wheat varieties are often favored for their baking quality, and Strouts said KS Venada “is going to be one of those better quality ones.”
The non-profit Kansas Wheat Alliance, which works closely with K-State to get new varieties out to farmers, will coordinate the release of KS Venada. KWA has been managing new releases from the university for 10 years, and has contributed more than $7 million to wheat breeding through its programs, according to Strouts.