Source: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

By Kay Ledbetter

The Picks for Texas High Plains Wheat list for 2015 has been released by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomists Jourdan Bell in Amarillo, and Calvin Trostle in Lubbock.

“Wet weather in particular marked the return of good wheat production conditions in the Texas High Plains for 2014-2015,” Bell said. “These welcomed conditions also fostered favorable conditions for rust diseases, in particular stripe rust.”

A significant portion of High Plains acres were sprayed, and producers who did not spray, especially if they had susceptible varieties like TAM 111 and TAM 112, saw yields drop, she said. In contrast, some producers with TAM 113, which has stronger stripe rust tolerance, found that the level of tolerance was sufficient to preclude spraying.

Trostle said the Picks criteria includes a minimum of three years of data from at least 20 multi-year, multi-site Texas A&M AgriLife High Plains wheat variety trials.

“A Pick variety means this: Given the data, these are the varieties we would choose to include and emphasize on our farm for wheat grain production,” he said.

He cautioned that the Picks are not necessarily the numerical top yielders, as important disease resistance traits such as leaf or stripe rust and wheat streak mosaic virus, tolerance to insects such as greenbugs and Russian wheat aphid or standability can also be important varietal traits that enable a producer to better manage potential risk.

“We look for consistency of yields, the regularity with which an individual variety is in the top 25 percent of yield at each location,” Bell said.

She said in some previous years there have been no changes to the Picks list, but for 2015-2016 some deletions and additions were made.

“We have removed TAM 111 from full irrigation in part due to the troubles this variety experienced with stripe rust in 2015.  This is the first year of significant underperformance for TAM 111 in our many years of trials, but stripe rust issues and moist conditions, which may be compounded in full irrigation, raise this caution.”

Duster and Hatcher were also deleted. Though the long-term performance of these varieties has been solid overall as a Pick for all production conditions, their continued yield has become somewhat marginal relative to newer lines that are available, Bell said. Hatcher in particular has some risk due to longer maturity and the risk of poor performance at higher temperatures.

Trostle said the additions made include T158, a Limagrain product, for dryland and limited irrigation Texas High Plains wheat production. Part of T158’s performance is tolerance to stripe rust.

“We also are adding a special note about TAM 114,” he said. “We have good three-year yield data on TAM 114, formerly tested as TX07A001505, which has good across-the-board resistance to rusts, good straw strength, desirable milling and baking qualities, and also has intermediate resistance to some biotypes of Hessian fly. But the 2015 plantings are for seed increase, and are not likely to be available to producers.”

Texas A&M AgriLife wheat grain variety Picks for the Texas High Plains based on yield performance and consistency from at least 20 multi-year, multi-site trials, 2010-2012 and 2014-2015.

Among the top Picks are:

  • Full irrigation – TAM 113, TAM 304, Iba and Winterhawk.
  • Limited irrigation – TAM 111, TAM 112, TAM 113, Iba, T158 and Winterhawk.
  • Dryland – TAM 111, TAM 112, TAM 113, Iba, T158 and Winterhawk.

The two agronomists have also developed a 2-year “watch list,” which is based on 2014 and 2015 harvest data. It includes Gallagher, an Oklahoma State variety; SY Monument from Syngenta; and WB-Grainfield from Monsanto. All are showing good performance and will merit consideration after 2016 yield data is evaluated.

Gallagher had been in AgriLife trials up to 2013, but unfortunately was not tested in 2014, Trostle said.

“We need further analysis of 2015 harvest data or more data in 2016 to determine if either Byrd or Denali, both from Colorado State, may be advanced to our Picks list. And as noted, TAM 114 in essence has moved off our ‘Watch List’ but is limited due to little seed for 2015 planting.”

Bell said these Pick varieties in general continue to yield an average of 8 to 12% better as a group than all other varieties in both irrigated and dryland tests.

However, Trostle said, the typical yield advantage did not materialize in some 2015 Pick lines like TAM 111 and TAM 112 because they had a down year due to stripe rust.

“Though you may have a variety for your production conditions that you really like, we encourage you to include one of our Picks in your cropping,” Trostle said. “Perhaps a Pick variety that has a specific disease package, which may have been valuable in the stripe rust outbreak of 2015, or relative maturity that contrasts your current variety would be a good complement to your overall program.”

For further discussion of wheat Pick varieties in the Texas High Plains, consult the “2015 Wheat Variety Trials Conducted in the Texas and New Mexico High Plains,” available here.

“We will have four-year data across multiple High Plains sites for both irrigated and dryland yield and test weight,” Bell said.