Soft Red Winter Wheat Breeding and Variety Development for Kentucky

Grants and Contracts Details


Soft Red Winter Wheat Breeding and Variety Development for Kentucky David Van Sanford, University of Kentucky June 13, 2022 Sustainability: Our breeding research is designed to release superior SRW wheat varieties for Kentucky growers. Sustainability is an integral part of the breeding program: we rely on disease resistance to reduce fungicide use, and screen for N use efficiency to reduce the amount of N fertilizer growers need to use to achieve profitability. We prioritize high-yielding, early maturing varieties with excellent test weight and straw strength to achieve the social goal of sustainability by filling food needs and increasing environmental and economic sustainability by limiting soil erosion and through improved profitability of the 3-crops-in-2-years rotation. Proposed Research September 1, 2022 - December 31, 2023 Crossing: By crossing different varieties we produce new genetic variation, with the objective of increasing agronomic performance, disease resistance and grain quality. Vernalized seedlings are transplanted to the greenhouse in October and then every 3 weeks until early December so that we will have a continual flow of flowering plants to work with through early spring. We choose parents to cross based on testing performance in replicated yield trials (yield, test weight, height, lodging, earliness), scab resistance, and genomic predictions of important traits from yield to scab resistance. After harvest we analyze data and select lines to be used as parents with a focus on superior performance in multi-year, multi-location trials including scab nurseries in other states throughout our region. Population and Line Development Populations: We plant F1 hybrids in rows at Lexington along with the progeny populations - F2, F3, F4 and F5; these populations are planted in plots at Lexington, Woodford county, Princeton and Schochoh. Populations that lack some of the must-have traits: scab resistance, early maturity, short to intermediate height, strong straw, and tolerance to spring freezes, along with yield potential, good test weight and superior milling quality are discarded. In the remaining F2 and F3 populations, we select individual heads and collect them in one bag per plot. All the heads in a bag are threshed and seed is put in envelopes for planting the next generation. In F4 and F5 plots the selected heads are threshed individually and planted in headrows which is when individual lines are created. We generally have about 20,000 headrows at Lexington where the crew can harvest them as they ripen. Yield Testing: Each year we plant 550-900 lines in yield trials grown at Lexington, Woodford Co., Princeton, and Schochoh; we measure heading date, height, lodging, disease resistance, yield, test weight and milling quality. About 40 of these lines will be yield tested in other states, and 12-15 lines will be grown in the state variety trial. We have restructured our preliminary testing program so that the prelim lines are grown in headrows and selected mostly on the basis of genomic predictions for yield, test weight, height, heading date and DON. Purification and Increase: This fall we will work with Wheat Tech to grow the headrows that we normally send to Yuma to increase production of pure seed. The main reason for the switch is that Yuma has gotten too expensive. Our experience with Wheat Tech increasing seed for us in the past was excellent, so it just seems
Effective start/end date9/1/2212/31/23


  • Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association: $67,000.00


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