New Hard Red Spring Wheat Expected To Replace Significant Alsen Acreage

Glenn, a new hard red spring wheat variety, has been developed and released by the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station, according to Al Schneiter, North Dakota State University Department of Plant Sciences chair.

Glenn is expected to replace significant acreage of Alsen. “If Glenn were to replace only two-thirds of the wheat acreage currently occupied by Alsen statewide, at current prices, it would generate almost $7 million in additional income annually based on its statewide yield advantage,” Schneiter says. “Other factors, such as higher test wieght, protein, seed quality and reduced levels of scab will provide additional income.”

Glenn has parentage that includes Sumai3, a Chinese spring wheat that is the source of the scab resistance present in Alsen, and a wild-wheat species that is a source of scab resistance present in Steele-ND. Alsen and Steele-ND are NDSU varieties.

According to NDSU plant pathologists, Glenn has a higher level of scab resistance than Alsen or Steele-ND. Glenn also is resistant to the prevalent races of leaf and stem rust. It has a level of resistance to tan spot blotch comparable to Alsen or Steele-ND. Glenn’s level of resistance to Septoria is equal to Parshall and Dapps, but greater than Alsen.

Compared with Alsen across 29 trials from 2002 to 2004 at the NDSU Research Extension Centers, Glenn has been equal in maturity and grows about 2 inches taller, but has stronger straw strength, according to Mohamed Mergoum, leader of the NDSU hard red spring wheat-breeding program.

Glenn has slightly larger kernels than Alsen and has averaged more than 3 pounds per bushel higher test weight. The protein content is slightly higher than in Alsen and, in statewide trials, the yield averaged 1.2 bushels an acre greater than Alsen. In 19 trials during the same period in the eastern part of North Dakota (Carrington, Prosper and Langdon), where scab is more prevalent, Glenn outyielded Alsen by 4.6 bushels an acre. In some parts of the state, Alsen constitutes more than 50 percent of the acreage.

Glenn has very good milling and baking properties, according to Truman Olson, NDSU cereal scientist. Glenn also exhibits the traditional strong dough-mixing characteristics that are needed when used as a blending wheat. These properties are needed because of the importance of North Dakota ’s spring wheat export market.

Glenn was named after Glenn Smith, the second of only four HRSW breeders that NDSU has had in almost 90 years. Smith was also the first graduate school dean of the North Dakota Agricultural College , now NDSU. The durum and spring wheat varieties Smith developed had good quality, high yield and disease resistance and helped stabilize wheat production for North Dakota farmers, providing North Dakota farmers with millions of dollars of additional annual income.

Glenn will be allocated through the County Crop Improvement Association this spring. The NDSU Research Foundation will apply for plant variety protection with Title V and assess research fees of 30 cents per bushel on registered and certified seed.

Alsen has been the leading wheat variety in North Dakota for the past three years. In 2004, Alsen was the No. 1 HRSW, accounting for 28.9 percent of the planted acres, or 1.82 million acres out of a total of 6.3 million. North Dakota is the top HRSW-producing state.

According to the North Dakota Agricultural Statistics Service, the NDSU wheat-breeding program has developed approximately 68 percent of the wheat grown in North Dakota .


*** Information Obtained from NDSU Extension and at***