Sorting through data from numerous research trial sites can be daunting for a wheat producer, so once again Texas AgriLife Research and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are offering their “picks” to help simplify the process.

“Although the 2012 wheat harvest had its ups and downs, the Texas AgriLife wheat program continues to deliver irrigated and dryland region-wide results to bolster producers’ wheat variety selection for 2012 fall planting,” said Dr. Calvin Trostle, AgriLife Extension agronomist, Lubbock.

“The breeding and testing program has long been a focal point of Texas AgriLife efforts across the state to bring improved wheat varieties and science-based results to Texas producers,” said Dr. Jackie Rudd, AgriLife Research wheat breeder in Amarillo.The work is funded in part by support from the Texas Wheat Producers Board.

The trials include popular varieties grown in Texas and new “up and coming” varieties from university and private breeding programs that market wheat in Texas, Rudd said.

“These trials are the face of the program that producers see,” Trostle said. “However, the heart of the program is the exhaustive breeding program behind variety trials that enables us to develop and test new lines with improved yield, disease resistance, and milling and baking qualities.”

For 2012, he said, reporting the annual wheat variety trial results is being updated to include multi-location, four-year averages across the region.

“Do you want to know what dryland TAM 112 yield and test weight averages were across 17 locations over three years?” Trostle said. “We have that number for you: 36.7 bushels per acre, the second highest, and 59.7 pounds per bushel, which you can compare to other varieties with the same amount of data.”

Something offered each year in the multi-year reporting process is the Texas AgriLife “picks” for full irrigation, limited irrigation and dryland production in the Texas High Plains, he said.

This approach was popularized by Dr. Brent Bean, former AgriLife Extension agronomist in Amarillo, more than 10 years ago, Trostle said, “and this approach remains a focal point of our wheat variety summary for producers.

“Based on the data we have, these are the varieties I would most want to plant on my farm,” he said.

The 2012 Picks list was updated by both Trostle and Rudd.

“We review a minimum of three years of data across multiple sites, and we factor in desirable traits like leaf or stripe rust resistance and stand-ability,” Rudd said.

“Our wheat variety picks do not normally change much from one year to the next, which is to be expected when using multi-year data,” Trostle said. “But newer varieties push their way onto the list replacing common pick varieties from years past whose performance may have tailed off.”