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Historical Wheat Variety Study Attracts Attention

Hard red spring wheat breeder Dr. Andrew Green has been surprised by the level of interest in a historical study he began in 2018 of all U.S. hard red spring wheat varieties.
 
 

September 17, 2018

Hard red spring wheat breeder Dr. Andrew Green has been surprised by the level of interest in a historical study he began in 2018 of all U.S. hard red spring wheat varieties. He wanted to conduct a comprehensive overview of the changes in hard red spring wheat varieties because it had never been done, although a smaller subset of varieties was studied 10 years ago.

Green started the study by requesting seed samples of all U.S. developed varieties from the National Small Grains Collection in Aberdeen, Idaho. He received 5 grams of each of the 60 varieties, which he used to increase seed. This year he planted three replications in three locations (Casselton, Carrington and Minot, North Dakota) and is currently completing agronomic data collection and harvest. Samples harvested from the research plots will be tested for milling and baking quality in the North Dakota State University Wheat Quality Testing Laboratory. This full experiment will be repeated in 2020 in order to have two full years of data.  

The historical nature of this project has attracted the attention of local media and past NDSU wheat breeder Dr. Richard Frohberg. In addition, many North Dakota patrons, and in some cases the family members for which those varieties are named, have contacted Green to reminisce about varieties. He says, “I have a list of names on my desk of individuals interested in obtaining samples of specific varieties, and I think I can supply small amounts of seed to them.” He also enjoyed an interesting visit with Frohberg, who stopped by the Casselton research plot at the NDSU Agronomy Seed Farm. Green said Frohberg “enjoyed looking through the trial of historical varieties and it was fun to hear his recollection of some of the issues and traits of some of the lines from his earlier career.” Green said, “The way [Frohberg] talked, you would never have guessed that he has been away from the program for this many years.” Frohberg was NDSU’s wheat breeder from 1966 to 2002.

Green began working at NDSU in 2016. The NDSU Wheat Quality Lab is directed by Dr. Senay Simsek, Bert L. D'Appolonia Cereal Science and Technology of Wheat Endowed Professor.

To see the Agweek TV story, click here:  https://www.agweek.com/business/agriculture/4653247-ndsu-relives-history-wheat

To see the WDAY News story, click here:  https://www.inforum.com/news/science-and-nature/4626325-Field-of-history-NDSU-ready-to-harvest-dozens-of-varieties-of-hard-red-spring-wheat-near-Fargo

Author: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384,
Editor: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123,

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