Oregon finds there’s something about Mary and its yield ability

Oregon State University’s new “Mary” soft white winter wheat release this year will offer only moderate resistance to stripe rust, which was prevalent this year, but comes to growers with a fetching plus: excellent yield potential.

In OSU trials comparing Mary to other varieties, the release topped the chart with a 127.9-bushel-per-acre yield in intermediate rainfall areas, and 62.4 bushels in low-rainfall production sites.

Test weight for Mary was put at 60.6 pounds per bushel, only slightly below Westbred 528 and Skiles. In grain protein, Mary posted 9.7%, nearly as high or slightly above comparisons. Plant height was 33 inches in the Oregon trials, slightly below the 34.6 medium in the trials.

High marks were gleaned in its disease rating, as well, in the Oregon winter elite yield trial, in which Mary recorded 92.1 bushels per acre, beating all comparisons with the exception of the Westbred variety at 92.3 bushels.

Key Points

Oregon has released a new high-yielding soft white winter wheat.

The variety, Mary, is considered to have “excellent” yield potential.

Variety is moderately resistant to stripe rust, which was prevalent this year.

With diseases, Mary is resistant to stripe rust, but susceptible to septoria, crown rot, cephalosporium stripe and foot rot.

In Washington tests, Mary also performed well with a 138-bushel-per-acre yield in high-precipitation zones (20 inches or more), 125 bushels in intermediate rainfall areas (16 to 20 inches) and 108 bushels in 12- to 16-inch precipitation fields.

Test weights and protein in Washington trials also placed Mary above the mean in all categories with the exception of high-rainfall protein, where the new variety was 0.2% below the mean.


Mary was given a “5” on a 1-to-10 winterhardiness scale, with a “10” considered an “excellent” ranking.

Described as a short-stature, moderately early-maturing wheat with “superior” straw strength by OSU researchers, Mary provides improved winterhardiness compared with Stephens and Tubbs, report the plant breeders.

It is recommended for late seedings and is ranked “excellent for milling and baking quality.”

Primary adaptation for the variety is the dryland and irrigation production areas of north-central and northeast Oregon, and southeast and south-central Washington, where Stephens or Westbred 528 are commonly grown.

Growers may be making choices of varieties based more on their stripe resistance in view of the 2011 growing season.

Stripe rust wreaked havoc this year across much of Oregon and in other parts of the Pacific Northwest. Varieties that held up well included ORCF 101 and Skiles, according to OSU Extension cereal specialist Michael Flowers.

Producers may want to visit their Extension offices for a copy of the “OSU Varieties and Stripe Rust” pamphlet, which offers an insight into how varieties performed in 2010 and 2011 observations. The information provided by Flowers shows these variety results on whether the wheats provided good, intermediate or poor stripe rust resistance:

Stripe rust resistance found in wheat varieties Information provided by OSU Extension cereal specialist Michael Flowers

Varieties that performed well:

Soft White Winter Hard Red/White Winter



Northwest 553


UI Silver







WB 1066 CL

Varieties that were intermediate in resistance:

Soft White Winter

AP 700 CL

Brundage 96






SY Ovation


Westbred 528

Hard Red/White Winter




UI Stan

Varieties that performed poorly:

Soft White Winter

AP Badger

AP Legacy



Tubbs 06


Hard Red/White Winter

AgriPro Paladin



UI Leland

UICF Grace




This article published in the July, 2011 edition of WESTERN FARMER-STOCKMAN.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2011.