Lang-MN wheat in field.

MN Impact: Improved Wheat Varieties Help MN Farmers

August 23, 2018

Objective

Development of new crop varieties will help Minnesota growers improve profitability.

Issue (Who cares and Why)

Minnesota wheat farmers need new high yielding and disease-resistant wheat varieties and education and outreach aimed at specific locations within the state to help them improve profitability.

What has been done

James Anderson, Jochum Wiersma, and their team study the strengths and weaknesses of new wheat varieties at more than 5,000 yield plots per year, seeking the best candidates for release. In particular, they look for yield, disease resistance, and baking quality. Trials take place at ROCs and farms across the state to determine which varieties work best in each location.

Results

Over the last five years, the University has released four new varieties of wheat, LinkertBolles, Shelly, and Lang-MN, which account for over 50 percent of the wheat acreage planted in Minnesota, the highest proportion in three decades.

Additionally, despite being planted on less acreage, wheat harvest hit a nearly record-breaking 67 bu/acre in 2017 and average wheat yields in Minnesota have approximately doubled over the past 25 years, increasing at a rate of 2.7 bu/acre per year. Linkert and Bolles, the two leading varieties in Minnesota in 2017, both have high grain protein and are valued for their exceptional end-use quality.