A brand-new wheat variety is coming to market, thanks to the University of Minnesota. Dr. Jochum Wiersma is a small grains specialist with the University of Minnesota’s Extension Service. He says the university has had a wheat-breeding program for a very long time, and it’s produced a lot of new varieties over the decades.
“The University releases almost one new variety each year if we have good candidates. Dr. Jim Anderson is this spring wheat breeder and has already been so for over 20 years. So, the latest release is MN-Rothsay. It’s a nice combination of traits.”
The variety is named after a town in Minnesota called MN-Rothsay. He talks about one of the new variety’s most important traits. “Stalk strength. And growers like that because nothing is more inconvenient than slowing down during harvest. Basically, it’s resisting going flat against the ground.”
He says the new variety will check all the important boxes for U.S. wheat growers.
“It’s a nice combination of grain-yield quality and important disease resistances – particularly important are leaf rot and fusarium head blight – there’s a pretty good tolerance. Good protein, as you know, hard red spring wheat is marketed where protein matters. The standard is 14 percent protein.”
MN-Rothsay can be grown in any part of traditional wheat-growing areas throughout rural America. Once the University of Minnesota approves the variety for public release, it goes to the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association in St. Paul. The association’s members produce the foundation seed before the variety finally gets approved for sale. The university does get paid royalties on sales of the new wheat variety.