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WSU releases two new wheat varieties

PULLMAN – Two new spring wheat varieties will soon be available to state growers, thanks to scientists at WSU.

“JD” is a new soft white, spring club variety. “Babe” is a soft white, common spring wheat. Both varieties were bred by professor Kim Kidwell, wheat breeder and associate dean for academic programs in the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, and her research team.

“WSU’s wheat breeding program continues to listen to the needs of the state’s wheat industry and respond with the best science possible,” said Ralph Cavalieri, director of the WSU Agricultural Research Center and associate dean in CAHNRS. “These new varieties address specific issues spring wheat growers face.”

Kidwell agreed. “Both of these varieties have high levels of resistance to stripe rust, which will greatly expand growers’ options for combating this disease,” she said.

“JD” has excellent yield potential across a broad range of production conditions and has exceptional milling and baking quality, Kidwell said. It is an ideal choice for soft white wheat producers hoping to capture club wheat premiums without taking a yield hit.

“Babe” is a targeted as a high yielding replacement for varieties, such as Alpowa, in the intermediate to high rainfall zones. Babe has improved emergence, high test weight, enhanced stripe rust resistance and improved end-use quality for making cookies, cakes and pastries compared to Alpowa.

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