The Kansas Wheat Alliance, the marketing arm for wheat varieties from Kansas State University breeders, has released three new varieties for planting in the fall of 2017: Larry, Tatanka and Zenda. All are hard red winter wheat.
Seed supplies are expected to be adequate, but as always with new releases, be sure to order as soon as possible and have a second choice in mind, says Daryl Stouts, executive director of KWA.
“New varieties tend to run a little short of demand in their first year,” Stouts says. “But there are a lot of good, new varieties that were released this year, so growers should be able to find what they are looking for.”
Larry is a variety for farmers willing to do intensive management and be rewarded with high performance, Stouts says. It has a weakness for leaf rust, and farmers who plant it will need to plan on a fungicide application. Yields should be strong, however, and Larry is well adapted to a big part of Kansas and into Oklahoma and is strong enough for growing under irrigation.
Tatanka is just the opposite of Larry for maintenance needs. It is a good dryland variety and stands taller, which makes it a good choice in western Kansas for no-till farmers who want good residue to capture and hold snow. It has good stripe and leaf rust resistance.
“If you are content with good but not exceptional yields and want to avoid inputs, Tatanka is a good choice in western Kansas, eastern Colorado, southwestern Nebraska and into the Oklahoma panhandle,” Stouts says. “If you are willing to invest in fungicide, you can expect exceptional yield from Tatanka,” he added.
It is a later-maturity variety that is resistant to soilborne mosaic and performs well in acid soils.
Zenda is the new release that has generated the most excitement, Stouts says.
“This is the replacement for Everest,” he says. “It gives us back everything that we have lost through the years with Everest.”
Zenda has good scab tolerance, which makes it a good choice for growers looking for a corn rotation crop, Stouts says. “Everest and Zenda are going to be No. 1 and 2 for producers planting wheat after corn,” he says.
Zenda has good stripe rust resistance, and a full leaf health package, good barley yellow dwarf tolerance and an improved milling and baking quality over Everest, he says.
“It’s going to fall in the ‘acceptable’ category for billing and baking and will be a little easier to manage with equal or better yields than Everest.”
There are several experimentals in the K-State breeding programs at Manhattan and Hays, and Stouts says he is excited about future advances in wheat genetics that will benefit both producers and the end users in milling and baking.