2022 Spring Wheat Variety Performance

Moses Lake field day.

After bumper yields in 2020 and historic drought in 2021, we saw a return to excellent yields for variety trials throughout much of the state (WA) again in 2022. In fact, many yields in the high rainfall regions were competitive with the records yields seen in 2020. Some areas in the intermediate zone did miss out on some of the spring rains and therefore saw yields in those trials closer to average instead of above average.

There are two newly named soft white spring wheat varieties in 2022 to highlight which include ‘Roger’ and ‘TMC Lochaven’. Roger (previously WA8325) is a WSU spring club wheat that is the first spring club with Hessian fly resistance. Roger will be widely available for commercial production in 2024. In general, Roger has 1.0-1.5 lb/bu better test weight and 0.5-1.0 percentage units lower protein than Melba. Roger is as good or better for yield than any other spring club wheat grown in every precipitation zone except for below 12 inches.

TMC Lochaven from The McGregor Company (previously designated as TMC 2021) generally landed near the trial average for both yield and test weight and more often than not had above average grain protein. With the exception of the high rainfall zone, it tended to rank higher in 2021 for both yield and test weight as it held up to the dry conditions a little better than most, but grain protein remained higher than average.

In 2022, Tekoa, Ryan and Seahawk continued to dominate the over 16 inch precipitation trials. There was little agreement and hence few significant differences detected among varieties across the 12-16 inch precipitation trials. Not surprisingly, AP Coachman, Tekoa, Melba, Louise, and Ryan rounded out the top five in the lowest rainfall zone. UI Cookie had a notably good performance in the 16-20 inch zone tying Ryan for the top spot.

There has been substantially more change in the hard red spring trial line up in 2022. Croplan entered new varieties ‘CP3055’, ‘CP3099A’, and ‘CP3530’ while Westbred entered ‘WB9623’ and University of Idaho entered ‘Jefferson’. As we look at each of these new varieties in 2022, CP3099A and WB9623 stood out as having the best yield potential landing in the top group in two out of four dryland precipitation zones. Both landed below average in most cases for test weight; however WB9623 maintained grain protein near average while CP3099A was last in all zones. CP3055 had a good showing in the <12 inch zone while Jefferson was near the top in the 12-16 inch zone, but both were only average or below average in the other zones. Jefferson had consistently average test weight and protein while CP3055 generally had one of the lowest test weights and at or below average grain protein. CP3530 was generally last for yield in most cases and had below average test weight. Under irrigation, Jefferson had some significant lodging as well as WB9623. Straw strength seemed decent to good on the remaining new varieties.

Hale, the most recent WSU hard red spring wheat release, was number one in both the >20 and 16-20 inch zones, and was at or above average in the other two low precipitation zones. This made it the most consistently high yielding variety in 2022. Seed of Hale should be widely available in 2024. Other varieties such as AP Renegade, Glee, Kelse, and WB9303 were in and out of the top grouping, and only rarely below average in the intermediate and higher rainfall regions. Net CL+, Chet, and Alum continue to be reliable choices for the lowest rainfall regions as well.

At Moses Lake (the sole 2022 irrigated site), both AP Venom and SY Gunsight, which have dominated the irrigated trials the past three years, did not perform as strongly in 2022 with both landing within 2 to 3 bu/a of the trial average while Kelse and AP Renegade landed at the top.

2022 was just the second year the Variety Testing Program has conducted fall planted hard red spring wheat trials. These trials reflect the latest trend in acres towards fall seeded spring wheat following potato harvests. On the two year average, SY Gunsight and AP Venom tied the hard red winter wheat check WB4303 and hard white spring wheat Dayn for the best yielders. Of these, AP Venom and Dayn had about 0.5 percentage units higher grain protein. WB9668 came in last for yield on average. Severe cold damage occurred at the Mattawa irrigated site in 2022, which the wheat eventually grew out of, but gave an excellent opportunity to take cold tolerance ratings. SY Gunsight stood out as the most tolerant, showing no noticeable cold damage and was indistinguishable from the WB4303 hard red winter wheat check. AP Venom, WB9662 and AP Renegade all showed some minor damage, while WB9668 was mostly killed off back to the crown.

Looking into the future, WSU is increasing seed of WA8354 CL+ in anticipation of its release in 2023 as WSU’s first two-gene Clearfield, common soft white spring wheat variety, which would provide a direct replacement for AP Mondovi CL2. WA8354 CL+ generally yields 3 to 7 bu/a more than AP Mondovi CL2 in the higher rainfall areas with 2 lb/bu better test weight and 1 to 1.5 percentage units lower grain protein.

Growers can find additional yield data and variety characteristic ratings by visiting the WSU Extension Small Grains website, the variety selection tool, or by downloading the WSU Variety Selection mobile app. When possible, growers are always encouraged to view multiple years and multiple locations of data for making varietal comparisons to better estimate the stability in varietal performance across environments. A good variety is one that can reliably perform well across multiple environments.

Acknowledgements: Funding for supplies, travel and technical support for the WSU Extension Cereal Variety Testing Program is provided by the Washington Grain Commission. Facilities, salary, and equipment are provided by WSU administration. We are grateful for the many on-farm cooperators we partner with to conduct these trials around the state. They are essential for producing quality data and their donations of land, time, and resources are appreciated.

Clark Neely professional headshot.

For questions or comments, contact Clark Neely via email at clark.neely@wsu.edu or mobile phone at (814) 571-5628.