Texas A&M AgriLife program to release two new wheat varieties
click image to zoomKay LedbetterTexas A&M AgriLife’s wheat breeding program has submitted TAM 114 wheat for release. Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the TAM Wheat Improvement Program have announced the pending release of two new wheat varieties, each with unique qualities, according to Jackie Rudd, Ph.D., AgriLife Research wheat breeder at Amarillo.
The announcement was made during the Rolling Plains Spring Field Day and Hardeman County Wheat Field Tour recently at Chillicothe.
“TAM 114 and TAM 204 each have unique characteristics and offer things to producers that we really haven’t had before,” Rudd said.
TAM 114, a hard red winter wheat developed from a cross between TAM 111 and an experimental breeding line, has excellent milling and baking quality, he said.
“It is one of the best bread-making wheats we’ve had in a long time,” Rudd said. “It has a high test weight, so it is good for the milling side, and for the bakers it has extra strong gluten or dough strength – it makes a nice loaf of bread.
“Over the past 10 years, the milling and baking quality of Texas wheat varieties have been increasing and TAM 114 is another step up,” he said.
For the producers, Rudd said TAM 114 offers resistance to leaf rust, stripe rust and stem rust. It is a high yielding wheat under both dryland and irrigated environments in the High Plains of Texas, but also does well in the Rolling Plains, the Blacklands and as far south as the Waco/Hillsboro area in the southern Blacklands.
“It is exciting to see the strong reputation of Texas wheat: that’s better for the millers, the bakers, the consumers, the entire Texas wheat industry,” Rudd said.
TAM 204 is an awnless hard red winter wheat that was developed for grazing, but in addition to high forage yields it also has a great grain yield throughout Texas, he said.
The seed heads of most hard winter wheat varieties have awns or beards that are typically about an inch long, Rudd said. In awnless wheat varieties, the awns are very short or non-existent.
“Cattle grazing wheat after the seed heads have emerged are “annoyed” by the bristly awns in their face and generally prefer awnless wheat,” he said. “The awnless trait makes it a lot more valuable for those wanting to graze it out.”
The parentage of TAM 204 includes the popular drought-tolerant TAM 112 and Jagger, which was well known for excellent fall grazing, he said.