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Glee and Otto added as new wheat options for Pacific Northwest

Two of Washington State University’s latest wheat variety releases, Glee and Otto, are offering new options for growers to increase yields and profits.

Glee, a hard spring wheat developed at the WSU Agricultural Research Center, is named in honor of Virginia Gale Lee, a graduate student who died of cancer in 2010.

“Glee provides a combination of high yield potential and excellent disease resistance,” says Mike Pumphrey, a WSU spring wheat breeder. “It works particularly well in dryland areas and on irrigated spring wheat production areas of the inland Pacific Northwest.

It has adapted well to Washington, Oregon and Idaho regions where Buck Pronto, Bullseye, Hank, Jefferson, Kelse, Tara 2002 and WB 926 have been produced, he adds.

Agronomics of Glee posted by WSU researchers say it provides excellent yields, average protein and very good test weights. The early-maturing Glee variety grows to medium height and produces desirable quality, WSU tests show.

Key Points

Washington introduces Glee and Otto as new wheats.

An experimental line, 8118, may bring new factors to wheat.

Other new winter and spring wheat experimentals may be introduced soon.


With early-season application of fungicides to limit seeding infection, stripe rust can be excellent, the research shows. It is also considered to be Hessian fly resistant.

When compared with Jefferson, Bullseye, WB 926, Tara 2002 and Hank, the Glee yield was highest in a three-year test with the newcomer producing 68 bushels an acre, on the average, in Almira, Endicott, Farmington, Pullman, Reardan and Walla Walla.

Test weight outdid the other varieties in most areas at 59.7, the same as with Jefferson. Bullseye led the test weight scores with a 61.

Protein averaged 13.8, below most of the comparisons, but marginally higher than that of Bullseye.

Another fledgling variety from WSU, Otto, is a soft white winter wheat from the ARC named in honor of Otto Amen, a former state representative, WSU alumnus and wheat producer who set up an endowment to fund dryland wheat research in Washington.

Eltan replacement

Otto provides a combination of excellent yield potential and disease resistance in dryland winter wheat production areas of the inland Pacific Northwest, says Aaron Carter, WSU winter wheat breeder.

Otto does best in the PNW where Eltan, Bruehl and Xerpha are produced, says Carter. It is similar to Madsen in its ability to stand up to foot rot, he says, with “much better’ stripe rust resistance than that of Eltan.

“Eltan has only adult plant resistance [to stripe rust], but Otto has both seeding and adult resistance,” he says. “It can eliminate the need to spray [to prevent disease] a second time. In a year when there is little disease pressure, Eltan and Otto will perform similarly. In a year with stripe rust or root rot, Otto will always stand out on top.”

Experimental variety 8118, a hard red, heads about eight to 10 days earlier than Farnum, and is not photo-period sensitive as are most winter wheats. It begins growing like a spring wheat when weather warms in the early part of the year.

This variety would grade as a hard red spring rather than a hard red winter wheat.

“This line may open up some different cropping systems,” says Carter. “It is a great line for no-till and planting a little later waiting for moisture to come in.”

A no-till late October planting of 8118 at the station is doing very well, reports Carter.

Seed for 8118 should become available next fall, but the variety will be marketed under a name yet undetermined, rather than a number.

The variety produced about 200 bushels and gives consistently high protein values, adds Carter of the Moses Lake trials.

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WHEAT NEWCOMER: This Washington experimental wheat line, 8118, may cause growers to change the way they think about planting options.

This article published in the August, 2012 edition of WESTERN FARMER-STOCKMAN.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2012.