Closing the Gap: Organic Wheat Variety Release in Eastern Washington
CSANR Project 090
The objective of this research is to evaluate advanced wheat breeding lines in organic systems for potential variety release to farmers in the Palouse region of Washington State. In 2012, two market classes in particular were evaluated: soft white winter wheat and winter spelt. The 2011-2012 field trials provided yield and test weight data for all lines; nutritional analysis in the form of mineral concentration is currently underway for the seed harvested in 2011 and in 2012. We anticipate the results from these nutritional tests by March 2013. The soft white and spelt breeding lines were grown in separate yield trials at two different sites on the certified organic Boyd Farm (Figure 1) outside of Pullman during the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 growing seasons. We found significant differences among all varieties in each trial for grain yield, test weight, 1000 kernel weight, protein content and plant height. High yielding breeding lines were found in the soft white trial as well as the spelt trial that indicate the potential for varietal release. At present, different types of release are being considered. These include: germplasm release, open-source variety release, and non-exclusive licensing varietal release. Mineral concentration results are anticipated to be available soon and this could provide an additional avenue for the release of a wheat variety with a value-added trait such as higher micronutrient concentration.