Results from the Uniform Wheat Variety Trials performed across Texas are now available.

These trials were partially funded by the Texas Wheat Producers Board (TWPB) through wheat producers' check-off dollars and industry. Producers can view variety trial results at www.texaswheat.org or check with their local elevator.

“The first step to having a successful crop is to begin with an informed decision on which variety of wheat to plant. Producers should review these results to see how the variety they planted last year performed and choose a variety that will best suit their needs in the next planting year,” said David Moore, TWPB chairman and wheat producer from Dumas.

One of the major goals of the TWPB is funding research that is of value to the Texas wheat producer. The benefits of research have long been praised in the form of growing higher yields, drought and insect-tolerant wheat and less chemical use — resulting in lower input costs for producers and better quality for the end user.

“Research is vital for the future of the Texas wheat farmer, but making sure producers have access to the research is just as important,” said Jackie Rudd, wheat breeder at Texas A&M University Experiment Station in Amarillo.

The TWPB is doing its best to make sure producers have access to the latest research and information 24 hours a day, said Moore. As research results become available, they are posted to the TWPB Web site, www.texaswheat.org, so that producers can have access to the research projects their check-off dollars funded.

Developing new varieties takes many years of research. Wheat breeders like Jackie Rudd look at current varieties to determine desired traits before they plant crosses in greenhouses. Then, nurseries are planted with 2-foot seedbeds called head rows. Finally, field plots are planted over several growing seasons for breeders to select desired traits.

Many specimens are “weeded out” early on, and very few make it to statewide evaluation. Because of the TWPB's commitment to research, new varieties are available nearly every season.

e-mail: lvaughn@texaswheat.org