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ISSUE 9  July 2, 1998

 

ARGENT, A NEW HARD WHITE SPRING WHEAT

    North Dakota Agriculture Experiment Station on June 30, 1998 released Argent, a Hard White Spring Wheat. Argent, the first white wheat released by NDSU, represents a new era in wheat breeding at NDSU meant to fill a growing world market for hard white wheat. The name Argent is Greek for white so named to reflect the white seed coat.

    Argent is similar to Grandin, an industry quality standard, in quality and agronomic attributes. Milling characteristics, dough mixing properties, and baking quality of Argent are all excellent. Argent lacks some characteristics desirable for noodles made from farina.

    Potential advantages of hard white wheat, such as Argent, include a unique combination of processing centered around bran color and bran flavor. White bran is less obvious than red bran in whole wheat products and does not impart the bitter taste associated with red bran.

    Bran from red wheat is a by-product of the milling industry utilized by the feed industry. Bran from white wheat should be more of a co-product and demand a higher price and meet an increasing demand for high fiber foods in the U.S. Whole hard white wheat can be used to increase fiber of food products with less alteration of color or flavor, and should be useful in developing new high fiber foods.

    Hard white wheat is more desirable than hard red wheat for Asian noodles. The red bran associated with hard red wheats produce an undesirable grey colored noodle. Hard white wheats produce a whiter noodle preferred by the Asian noodle market. Hard white wheat is also preferred for flat breads and steamed bread consumed in many areas of the world.

    Countries other than the U.S. currently supply the worlds hard white wheat needs. North Dakota Agriculture Experiment Station has committed to develop hard white wheat to supply domestic and international markets that prefer hard white wheat. Development of hard white wheat in the U.S. has dramatically increased recently with releases of varieties in Kansas, and Idaho and now in North Dakota.

    The seed coat characteristic that makes Argent different from Hard red spring wheat is controlled by three genes. When any of the three genes for red seed coat are present the seed coat is red. Historic reasons for growing exclusively hard red wheats for bread in the U.S. are due in part to the ability of red wheat to withstand pre-harvest germination. White wheats typically are more susceptible to pre-harvest germination, for this reason Argent should be harvested as soon as it is ripe. Delayed harvest of Argent, particularly during a wet period, could result in lower falling number.

    Hard white wheat should not be confused with soft white wheat which is produced in the Pacific North West. Soft white wheats which are used for cakes, cookies and pastries do not have the gluten characteristics of hard wheats.

    In May of 1990 official U.S. Grain Standards for white wheat were modified to include hard white wheat as a new class. The new class is to include only hard endosperm white wheat and does not differentiate between winter and spring. Argent has a vitreous hard amber kernel. Because of the hard vitreous nature of Argent it has a red hue and could be classified as Dark Northern Spring.

    The value of Argent will only be realized by producing it on an identity preserved basis for specialized markets. Mixing Argent with another class of wheat will result in identity loss and any market advantage.

    North Dakota Agriculture Experiment Station will maintain breeder and foundation seed of Argent. Generations permitted in North Dakota are breeder, foundation, registered and certified. Certified seed will be available in 1999. Plant variety protection will be applied for without the Title V provision.

    Production, use, and marketing of Argent and other hard white wheats will be the focus of future educational efforts of the NDSU Extension Service.

 

RANSOM, A NEW HARD RED WINTER WHEAT

    The North Dakota Agriculture Experiment Station released ‘Ransom’ a new hard red winter wheat cultivar on June 30, 1998. Ransom is best adapted to Southeastern North Dakota and is name for Ransom County.

    Ransom is awned with white chaff, slightly earlier maturing and shorter than ‘Seward’. Straw strength of Ransom is moderately strong. Ransom also has good winter hardiness.

    In yield trials Ransom has shown a small yield advantage over ‘Arapahoe’, ‘Elkhorn’, and Seward and a much larger yield advantage over ‘Roughrider’. Roughrider is resistant to stem and leaf rust.

    Ransom is a good quality hard red spring wheat. Test weight of Ransom is equal or better than Seward. Wheat protein, and other milling characteristics of Ransom are between Roughrider a high protein variety and Seward which has lower protein. Dough mixing properties are better than Seward and equivalent to Roughrider. Baking performance of Ransom is good, performing equal to Roughrider.

    Application for Plant Variety Protection without the Title V provision will be made on Ransom.

Michael D. Peel
Small Grains Extension Agronomist

 

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY......

    .......And bring your moss and algae another day! This is quickly becoming the "poem" of many homeowners and golf course superintendents - a result of the excessive rainfall and high humidity much of the state has been experiencing lately.

    Although similarly caused, there is a difference between moss and algae. While wet, humid, weather is the keystone for the initiation for each problem, their development goes on separate tracks from that point on. Algae will develop on compacted, water-logged, fertile soils, in full sun, while moss is more common on shady, wet, infertile soils with excessive thatch. Unchecked, these two problems (they are not parasitic) will degrade turf quality and compromise water and fertilizer use efficiency.

    One of my favorite "peeves" is the irrigation system that comes on either daily or every other day, regardless of the environmental conditions. That is the first step in control - avoiding excessive irrigation! I have in fact, turned off the irrigation system at my home and on the plots and fields under my supervision, for the last month or more. Next, improve soil aeration by coring or spiking the surface of the soil. In the case of moss, try and improve sunlight penetration and air circulation around the affected turf area with some careful pruning of the surrounding shrubs and trees. Also with moss, increase the fertility level of the soil after a soil test with a planned program of fertilizer applications throughout the season.

    Power raking of algae will break up the crust that forms, allowing the soil to dry and air to penetrate to the root zone of the struggling grasses. This can be done in combination with coring if the soil is compacted, or by itself. Late August to early September is the best time, but if irrigation water is readily available (should we ever run into a dry spell!), these actions can be taken immediately.

    There are chemical controls that can be used to augment the physically active cultural methods. For algae, apply copper sulfate at 2 to 3 ounces per 1000 square feet. Be careful to not overdo this, as copper sulfate can be toxic to grass plants at high doses. Less risky would be the use of a fungicide - ForeŽ or mancozeb - both have the same active ingredients, manganese and zinc. To control moss, use iron sulfate or ferrous ammonium sulfate, after spiking or power raking to break up the thick moss layer. Be careful with the recommended doses - 4-7 ounces of iron sulfate/1000 square feet, or 10 ounces of ferrous ammonium sulfate/1000 square feet, as these rates will injure bentgrass mowed at greens height.

    The best tact of course, is to not allow compaction, fertility, or especially water management get out of hand. Controlling these relatively simple factors will keep these problems from ever developing .

Ron Smith
NDSU Extension Horticulturist and Turfgrass Specialist

 

TREES

Aphids
   Aphids cause a variety of injury symptoms on leaves, twigs and stems of trees and shrubs. Many aphids cause leaf discoloration, disfigurement, and occasionally premature leaf drop. Often-times the leaves, stems and anything under the plant becomes sticky as the aphids excrete honeydew (a sticky substance) while they feed. Honeydew covered surfaces will often turn black as sooty mold fungi move in and colonize the sugary substance. Some aphids cause galls. The poplar gall aphids cause marble-sized galls at the junction between leaf blades and petioles on cottonwoods and other poplars. Aphids on twigs or stems can cause reduced plant growth, early leaf drop, and/or twig death.

    High numbers of aphids can weaken trees and shrubs, but rarely kill them. The sweet honeydew is attractive to ants, flies and wasps. The attraction of undesirable insects along with the honeydew mess and damage to painted surfaces caused by honeydew are factors which often motivate people to control aphids on shade trees. If an aphid population is becoming unacceptable, take a close look to see if there are predators (ladybird beetles, lace wings, etc.) present. When predators and/or parasites are present, it may be better to allow nature to take its course. If compelled to spray these plants, use an alternative product such as insecticidal soap to reduce the impact on beneficial insects. Other products labeled for aphid control in trees and shrubs are listed on the back of E-296.

Poplar Bud Gall Mite
   The poplar bud gall mite causes cauliflower-like galls to form at leaf buds of cottonwoods and other poplars. These galls are dark green in color early in the season and turn brick red by late summer. Old galls have a ridged and furrowed surface, are hard, and grayish in color.

    Trees may lose aesthetic value quickly because the new galls are formed every year and old galls may remain active (growing and supporting development of new mites) for up to 4 years. Although trees are seldom killed, lower branches often become crooked, stunted, and are often killed. Continuous attack may weaken a tree, increasing its susceptibility to drought, frost, or other injuries.

    Some of the greatest damage caused by poplar bud gall mites is seen on hybrid poplars. There appears to be a wide range of susceptibility of poplars to the mite. When planting hybrid poplars in areas where the mite has a history of causing damage, use more resistant cultivars. Northwest, Saskatchewan, and Brooks No. 5 are highly susceptible to the mite, while Walker, Wheeler, Griffin, and Dunlop are highly resistant to bud gall mite infestations. If chemical control is necessary, carbaryl can be sprayed as buds and leaves are expanding in the spring.

Marcus Jackson
NDSU Extension Forester


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