Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, [email protected]
Contact: Dr. Jackie Rudd, 806-677-5600, [email protected]
Dr. Richard Vierling, 940-552-9941, [email protected]

AMARILLO – Two new wheat varieties have been announced by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the TAM Wheat Improvement Program, according to Dr. Jackie Rudd, AgriLife Research wheat breeder at Amarillo.

“We are excited to release these two new varieties that will complement the TAM lineup already being grown throughout much of Texas and the Southern High Plains of the U.S.,” Rudd said.

“Both are well-suited to battle against our environmental challenges and still perform well in end-user tests,” he said.

wheat in field
One of the newest wheat varieties to be released by Texas A&M AgriLife Research is TAM 115, pictured here to the right of TAM 114. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Kay Ledbetter)

Dr. Richard Vierling, director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Vernon and Texas Foundation Seed manager, said the two varieties have been submitted to the State Seed Plant Board. The board is appointed to oversee the seed certification program and will meet mid-June to review the varieties.

Vierling said both varieties are being grown in the Foundation seed increase this year and are performing well in the field. The Foundation and Registered classes of seed are the ones used to produce the Certified class, which is most typically used by the commercial producer.

“This step is designed to assure seed purity and quality, and genetic integrity during the commercial life of the variety,” he said. “We will start the licensing process as soon as we get seed in the bin.”

Rudd said some Certified seed will be available this fall, while most of the Foundation seed will be used for Registered and Certified seed for 2020. The licensee will decide how much to sell as Certified and how much to save for increase for next year.

TAM 115 is a hard, red winter wheat developed from a cross with TAM 112, Rudd said. The second release, TAM 205, was developed from the cross of RonL and a TAM experimental breeding line.

TAM 115 has good yield under dryland and irrigated conditions and has an excellent protection package for the High Plains, with resistance to leaf rust, stripe rust, stem rust, greenbug and wheat curl mite, he said.

aerial view of wheat field
Of these center four rows, the two on the left are TAM 205 and the two on the right are TAM 115. These strips are located in the Texas A&M AgriLife Research irrigated field trials near Bushland. (Texas A&M AgriLife drone photo by Shannon Baker)

“It is a few days later in flowering than the most popular cultivars in Texas, but compensates well with its rapid grain-fill characteristics,” Rudd said. “With large seeds, high test weight and strong dough properties, it received above-average milling and baking scores in the 2018 Wheat Quality Council evaluations.”

He said TAM 115 has drought tolerance, water-use efficiency, greenbug resistance and wheat curl mite resistance from the popular drought tolerant cultivar TAM 112, and leaf and stripe rust resistance from a Texas experimental line.

This new variety has performed well across the High Plains, Rolling Plains and Blacklands in Texas, as well as other southern Great Plains areas like western Kansas and eastern Colorado.

TAM 205 is resistant to leaf rust, stripe rust, stem rust, wheat streak mosaic virus, soil-borne wheat mosaic virus, spindle streak mosaic virus and fusarium head blight or scab, Rudd said.

“With large seeds, high test weight and strong dough properties, it also received very good milling and baking scores in this year’s Wheat Quality Council evaluation,” he said. “The bread-making characteristics of TAM 205 make it an excellent choice for whole-wheat products as well as traditional pan bread.”

TAM 205 has performed well across the nation’s southern winter wheat-growing regions and the Texas High Plains, Rolling Plains and the Blacklands.

“Both of these new varieties cover the ground quickly in the fall for good forage production,” Rudd said. “Both have performed well in traditional and organic production systems for grain only and for heavy grazing plus grain.”

Grain and forage yield data are available at http://varietytesting.tamu.edu/wheat/#varietytrials.