A.R.S. releases hard wheat varieties for eastern US

by Jeff Gelski
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WASHINGTON — The Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has released two hard winter wheat varieties bred and developed for production in the eastern United States. David Marshall, an A.R.S. plant pathologist and geneticist, has bred NuEast, a hard red winter wheat, and Appalachian White, a hard white winter wheat.

Hard wheat traditionally has not found much success in the eastern United States because humidity increases the incidence of disease in the field.

NuEast in field tests had higher grain yield than the check varieties over four years of testing. It showed moderate reaction to powdery mildew but was more resistant than some check varieties.

Appalachian White had higher yield than the only other variety that could be considered acceptable when grown under eastern U.S. weather conditions. Appalachian White also showed a higher level of resistance to powdery mildew, stripe rust, leaf rust and Hessian fly.

Millers and bakers that belong to the North Carolina Organic Bread Flour Project are testing the new wheat varieties. Funding from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund supports the North Carolina Organic Bread Flour Project.

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