OSU Releases New Wheat Varieties

Duster and Centerfield add new tools to Southern Plains growers' choices.

Published on: Aug 16, 2006

Oklahoma State University has unveiled a pair of new hard red winter wheats - Duster and Centerfield.

Duster has the ability to germinate well under the harsh soil conditions often experienced when sowing wheat early for dual-purpose management.

"The ability to germinate and emerge in hot, dry soil conditions is a critical attribute for a dual-purpose variety, and Duster has demonstrated this ability over several years of testing in real-world conditions," says Brett Carver, OSU wheat genetics chair for the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.  "The grazability of Duster reminds me a lot of Endurance," he says. "It tillers well, produces a lot of forage early and recovers from grazing well in the spring."

Duster also offers resistance to Hessian fly, a major pest problem in 2005 and 2006.

"Grain-only producers should appreciate the fact that Duster topped the southern regional breeder trials two years in a row," Carver notes.

The variety offers adult-plant resistance to leaf rust and intermediate resistance to stripe rust, and is resistant to wheat soil-borne mosaic virus, wheat spindle streak mosaic virus and powdery mildew.

"Duster brings a whole new genetic package to the table," says Jeff Edwards, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service small grains specialist. "More than half of the wheat acreage in Oklahoma is sown either to Jagger or varieties that resulted from crosses with Jagger. This is not a good situation from a risk management perspective. Duster will allow producers to truly diversify their wheat production without sacrificing yield or quality."

The new OSU wheat variety also has excellent tolerance to acid soil conditions.

Centerfield is a new Clearfield wheat variety that offers resistance to soil-borne mosaic virus and improved acid soil tolerance, along with a better test weight and a better leaf and stripe rust package than some of the older Clearfield varieties, all of which increases Centerfield's adaptability to central Oklahoma. Most commercially available Clearfield varieties are best adapted for use in western Oklahoma.

While fall forage production with Centerfield is adequate, Edwards cautions wheat growers who are considering a Clearfield variety for dual-purpose production.

"If you're sowing a Clearfield variety, it's generally to help control a problem weed such as jointed goatgrass or Italian ryegrass," Edwards explains. "Heavy grazing removes early and midseason crop competition, an important part of any in-season weed control program."

A limited amount of Duster and Centerfield foundation seed will be available this fall.