By Ryan Higginbotham, WSU Regional Extension Specialist

Grain commissions in the Northwest recently released their annual variety surveys and quality rankings, giving growers the latest information on the best wheat to plant.

This fall, the Washington Grain Commission published their annual Washington Wheat Variety Survey. Certified seed sales were used to estimate the total acres of each wheat variety planted in the state. According to the survey, the top five winter wheat varieties for the 2014-2015 crop year were Otto, ORCF-102, SY Ovation, Bruehl, and Xerpha.

“In terms of the number of acres of varieties, there aren’t any big surprises,” said Ryan Higginbotham, a regional extension specialist for Cereal Variety Testing. “Rankings in the top group tend to stay grouped together.

The Washington commission, in cooperation with the Idaho and Oregon Wheat Commissions, also this fall released their 2015 Preferred Wheat Varieties brochure.

The annual publication ranks wheat varieties based on end-use quality, providing growers with additional information when deciding what to plant.

“Quality is more important in terms of what a grower can actually do,” said Higginbotham. “We suggest that, if there are two varieties that fit equally well in a grower’s environment, growers pick the one that’s higher in end-use quality. Our overseas customers demand good quality wheat. If we fail to provide it, they may buy it cheaper from somewhere else.”

By planting varieties that are higher in the quality rankings, farmers can help ensure that the Pacific Northwest maintains the high standards of end-use quality wheat that our customers have come to expect. Click on 2015 Preferred Wheat Varieties and see how the end-use quality of your chosen variety ranks.

Visit WSU’s Variety Selection Tool to explore the wealth of information on currently available wheat varieties—including rankings for end-use quality.