LSU AgCenter Releases New Rust-resistant Wheat

Linda Benedict  |  6/14/2005 7:24:25 PM

A new wheat variety developed specifically for Louisiana growers and adapted to Louisiana and surrounding states has been released by the LSU AgCenter.

The new wheat variety, LA841, will be available to growers by the summer of 2003, said Stephen Harrison, who directs the wheat and oat breeding program. Terral Seed Inc. of Lake Providence, La., has been awarded exclusive license to produce and market the variety as Terral LA841.

Selection and early testing of the wheat variety in Baton Rouge were followed by yield trial evaluations at AgCenter research stations across Louisiana. LA841 has been tested in Louisiana and in surrounding states since 1998, and breeder seed of LA841 was produced at the Macon Ridge Research Station in Winnsboro during the 2001-2002 growing season.

“It’s a good locally adapted wheat variety for Louisiana farmers,” Harrison said. “It has excellent grain yield and is resistant to leaf rust and stripe rust. It also shows good straw strength and does not have a tendency to head too early and sustain spring freeze injury.”

David Boethel, associate vice chancellor, said because the variety’s pedigree indicates a different source of genetic resistance to leaf rust than varieties currently grown, it may retain its leaf rust resistance longer.

Studies show LA841 had the lowest leaf rust and stripe rust ratings of 17 varieties from 12 Louisiana test locations in 2001 and 2002. It had an average yield of 74 bushels per acre in these trials – just three bushels per acre lower than the highest yielding entry and equal to the yield of wheat varieties USG 3209 and Coker 9152.

Writer: A. Denise Coolman

(This article appeared in the winter 2003 issue of Louisiana Agriculture.)

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