Texas Wheat: Extension Variety Picks for 2018-19

Texas A&M AgriLife staff in College Station, Amarillo, Vernon and Lubbock have designated our annual wheat grain variety “Picks” for the 2018-2019 season for four distinct variety testing regions of Texas.  These are the High Plains, Rolling Plains (Chillicothe/Vernon region in the north to south of Abilene), Blacklands & Northeast Texas, and South Texas.

Continuing a tradition established years ago, our ongoing Picks criteria include a minimum of three years of irrigated or dryland data in Texas A&M AgriLife regional variety trials across numerous annual locations.

Furthermore, a “Pick” variety means this:  “Given the data these are the varieties we would choose to include and emphasize on our farm for wheat grain production.”

Picks are not necessarily the numerical top yielders as important disease resistance traits (leaf or stripe rust, wheat streak mosaic virus), insect tolerance (greenbugs, Russian wheat aphid, wheat curl mite Hessian fly), or standability can also be important varietal traits that enable a producer to better manage potential risk.

High Plains Wheat Grain Picks for 2018-2019

See page 2 for a list of our wheat variety grain Picks for the High Plains as well as their ratings for susceptibility/resistance to leaf rust and stripe rust.

Additions in 2018

Westbred WB 4721 and Limagrain LCS Mint have performed well in the past 3+ years of dryland Texas High Plains production.  They have appeared to be an improvement over varieties noted below that have been removed from the Picks list.

Two additional varieties are noted on the Picks ‘Watch’ list.  These varieties show promise, but we need more data to support further consideration.  DynaGro’s Long Branch clearly has the yield potential to merit status as a Pick, but the grain quality is a concern, especially poor dough strength.

Table 1.  Texas A&M AgriLife wheat grain variety Picks for the Texas High Plains based on yield performance and consistency based on over 30 multi-year, multi-site irrigated and dryland trials harvested in 2015-2018.  Leaf rust and stripe rust reactions are included (see footnote).

Wheat Variety “Picks”, Texas High Plains. 2018-2019.
Full Irrigation# Limited Irrigation Dryland
TAM 304§ (MR/MR) TAM 112 (S/S)& TAM 112
TAM 113 (R/R) TAM 113 TAM 113
TAM 114 (R/R) TAM 114 TAM 114
Iba (R/MR) Iba LCS Mint (S/MR)
Winterhawk (MS/MR) Winterhawk
T158 (MS/MR) T158

# – Full irrigation in the Texas & eastern NM High Plains reflects a production system that also is oriented to ample nitrogen fertilizer applications and likely fungicide application, in particular for leaf rust and stripe rust even when infection is minimal or perhaps even not evident (preventive applications).
& – Leaf rust/stripe rust resistance ratings: R, Resistant; MR, moderately resistant; MS, moderately susceptible; and S, susceptible
§ – New purified seed source. Recent performance from commercial samples of TAM 304 is significantly reduced.

Deletions in 2018 & 2017

 WB Grainfield was removed as a Pick for all conditions due to middle-of-the road performance, and Iba was removed as a dryland Pick.  What may be of greater interest to High Plains wheat growers is the removal of TAM 111 as a pick for all conditions in 2016-2017.  This variety is planted on more acres in the Texas High Plains than any other variety.

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But TAM 111 performance has become erratic over the past couple of years, sometimes as much as 20% below trial averages.  This may be in part due to full susceptibility to leaf and stripe rust.  TAM 112 is the same way, but there are other redeeming traits about TAM 112 that keep it as a Pick:  a good yielder in tough conditions, wheat streak mosaic virus/wheat curl mite tolerance and greenbug tolerance.

Producers who have TAM 111 for seed in Fall 2018 don’t need to change varieties but should keep in mind that management for plant diseases may be key in preserving yield potential.

Special High Plains Note on Beardless TAM 204

A glance at our multi-year grain yield data suggests TAM 204 merits consideration as a dryland and irrigated Pick in the High Plains.  AgriLife staff have discussed this for several years.  TAM 204 is tolerant of wheat curl mite/wheat streak mosaic virus, greenbugs, Hessian fly (important in the lower Rolling Plains), and stripe rust.

This beardless variety was released for grazing potential and possible use as a dual-purpose wheat.  Due to the emphasis on forage, grain milling and baking qualities are a lesser priority among AgriLife’s TAM beardless varieties.  Thus, the use of TAM 204, from AgriLife’s perspective is as a grazing and forage variety.

Still, some producers will choose TAM 204 for grain.  AgriLife recommends bearded wheats if grain production is your goal, but if you are in a dual-purpose system, or you later decide to go to grain rather than graze out, TAM 204 will yield well.

Rolling Plains Wheat Grain Picks for 2018-2019

Gallagher (MR/R)
Greer (S/MR)
TAM 114 (R/R)
TAM 304§ (MR/MR)
WB Cedar (S/MR)
SY Grit (MS/R)
WB 4721 (R/MR)

Additions in 2018

Syngenta’s SY Grit and Westbred’s WB 4721 were added to the Rolling Plains Picks List in 2018 due to consistently good yields.  Yields were comparable to other Pick List varieties.

SY Grit is a medium maturity with good stripe rust resistance, but growers will need to use a fungicide to control leaf rust. Straw strength is excellent, and it is rated good for test weight.

WB 4721 is slightly earlier than SY Grit in maturity and has better rust protection, particularly for leaf rust.  It is also rated for good straw strength, good test weight, high tillering potential as well as good grazing potential.

Deletions in 2018

WB 4458 was removed from the Picks List in the Rolling Plains mainly due to declining yields two years in a row.

Other Notes

The same comments apply in the Rolling Plains for TAM 204 as mentioned previously for the High Plains. TAM 204 may be a good choice for dual-purpose or graze-out systems due to resistance to wheat curl mite, wheat streak mosaic virus and greenbug, which can be more prevalent in early planting scenarios common for fall grazing.  It yields well for grain, particularly for a beardless wheat.

Blacklands/Northeast Texas Wheat Grain Picks for 2018-2019

Hard Red Winter Wheat Soft Red Winter Wheat
Gallagher (MR/R) AGS 2055 (R/R)
TAM 304§ (MR/MR) USG 3895 (R/R)
WB Cedar (S/MR)

Additions for 2018

While no varieties were added to the HRWW Picks List, WB 4418 and WB 4303 have both been added to the Watch List for the Blacklands.  On average, they ranked #4 and #6, respectively, in 2018 across the Blacklands. Both WB 4418 and WB 4303 are intermediate on leaf and stripe rust resistance and may require a fungicide in the spring to maximize yields.

Both are ranked high for straw strength as well. WB 4418 also has good Hessian fly tolerance which is an important trait in this region, whereas WB 4303 is rated excellent for grazing potential.

For the SRWW category, USG 3895 was promoted to the Picks List from the Watch List after a third consecutive year of strong grain yield.  Its strong resistance to leaf and stripe rust makes it an excellent option for the SRWW growing region of the state.  USG 3458 and Dyna-Gro 9811 were added to the Watch list for SRWW.

Deletions for 2018

After being on the Picks List for a number of years, Greer was finally dropped from the HRWW list after slipping in the yield rankings for two years in a row.  Coker 9553 was also dropped from the SRWW list due to declining yield.

Other Notes

WB Cedar slipped in yield in the 2018 season ranking only #11 out of 22 but has a very strong yield history.  This variety is shorter in height with excellent straw strength, early maturity and good test weight.  Leaf rust resistance has broken down however, and it is susceptible to stipe rust in the juvenile stage.

If producers manage foliar diseases with fungicide, WB Cedar should still perform well.  Also, WB Cedar has shown vernalization issues in the southern tip of the Blacklands during mild winters.

South Texas Wheat Grain Picks for 2018-2019

Hard Red Winter Wheat Hard Red Spring Wheat Soft Red Winter Wheat
TAM 401 (MR/R) LCS Trigger (R/MS) USG 3120 (R/MS)
Expresso (MR/R)
TAMSpr 801 (R/R)
WB 9518 (MR/R)

Additions for 2018

There were no additions for HRWW or SRWW, but LCS Trigger was a new addition to the HRSW category.

Deletions for 2018

SY Cypress was removed from the SRWW list as the company no longer tests this variety.  There was limited data from 2018 to say with any certainty whether other varieties should be removed.

 Other Notes

TAM 401 remains the sole hard red winter wheat entry for South Texas as it is the least sensitive winter type to vernalization issues that are a regular issue during mild winters.  It is awnless and has lighter test weight, but still maintains good resistance to leaf and stripe rust and is one of the earliest maturing winter varieties available.

WB 4303 is on the watch list for this region as it too appears less sensitive to the mild winters.  In portions of South Texas, hard red spring wheats are a safer bet to avoid vernalization problems.

Irrigated wheat variety trial

Fig. 1. Irrigated wheat variety trial near Seminole, TX


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