Kansas State University’s Plant Genetics Materials Release Committee met July 27, 2016, where they approved the release for three new hard red winter wheat varieties.

Foundation seed for KS060143K-2, KS060106M-11 and KS12H56-6-4, better known as Larry, Zenda and Tatanka, will be distributed to Certified seed producers this fall, and Certified seed is expected to be available for farmers in the fall of 2017.

Larry has good resistance to stripe and stem rust as well as soil borne mosaic virus. It also has good acid soil tolerance but is moderately susceptible to leaf rust. This medium to medium-early maturity variety has shown good yield potential across south central to southwest Kansas and into north central Oklahoma.

Zenda will be an excellent choice for farmers to plant after corn in the eastern half of Kansas. It is a medium-early maturity, and has Everest making up half of its pedigree. Zenda has good resistance to stem rust, moderate resistance to stripe and leaf rust, good acid soil tolerance and soil borne mosaic virus resistance. It will carry a similar level of resistance to fusarium head blight as Everest, but not as good of tolerance to barley yellow dwarf.

Tatanka is a medium to medium-late maturity variety and is best adapted for western Kansas. It has a good disease and drought package and will be a strong performer for farmers in this area. Tatanka has shown good resistance to stripe and stem rust as well as moderate resistance to leaf rust. It is also resistant to soil borne mosaic virus which may allow it to come east into central Kansas. It is not recommended for irrigated acres, due to its below average straw strength.

The Kansas Wheat Alliance is able to fund the research and development of new wheat varieties like Larry, Zenda and Tatanka through the royalty collected on the sales of K-State wheat varieties. These royalties provide funding to K-State wheat breeders and their research teams to improve yield and quality.

“Every time a farmer buys Certified seed they are investing in their future. As a non-profit organization, Kansas Wheat Alliance ensures that a high percentage of the royalties go back into wheat research and variety development,” said Daryl Strouts, Kansas Wheat Alliance President.

Wheat breeders spend years developing new varieties. In addition to these three new varieties which are now approved for release, K-State has several other experimental varieties that may be ready for release in upcoming years.

“These royalty dollars aren’t going to big corporations or a foreign country. They are staying here to ensure Kansas producers continue to have access to the best wheat genetics,” said Strouts.

The Kansas Wheat Alliance is a not-for-profit organization formed by wheat producers, researchers, and seed marketers with the goal of maximizing value for wheat farmers by promoting responsible management of new wheat varieties developed by Kansas State University and other wheat-breeding programs. Royalties are used to support wheat research that enhances the profitability of wheat producers.