Evaluating and Developing Varieties for Organic Systems in Western Washington

The objective of this proposed research was to determine the relationship between agroecological factors (including climatic conditions, soil characteristics and wheat variety) and value-added traits (including nutritional content, yield in organic systems and baking quality) for wheat in Washington State. Using this information, we will develop agronomic strategies and value-added marketing options that focus on optimizing the nutritional value of, and financial compensation from, wheat grown in different regions of Western Washington State. We focused on evaluating grain yield, protein, test weight, lodging, resistance to stripe rust, and concentrations of the following mineral nutrients: calcium (Ca), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn), phosphorus (P), selenium (Se) and zinc (Zn). Preliminary milling and baking trials were conducted in the fall of 2009. We planted, evaluated and harvested 18 spring wheat cultivars on three farms in Western Washington. In addition, we planted over 150 winter wheat varieties and breeding lines at the WSU Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center (NWREC) in the fall of 2008 and 2009. These locations were carefully chosen to represent a wide range of environments, climates, precipitation, soil characteristics and cropping systems. Results from this research will benefit farmers by creating agronomic guidelines and variety recommendations for growing wheat in Western Washington.

Grant Information

  • Project ID: 049
  • Project Status: Complete


  • Principal Investigator(s): Jones, S.
  • Investigator(s): Murphy, K.
  • Grant Amount: $34,000


  • Principal Investigator(s): Jones, S.
  • Investigator(s): Murphy, K.
  • Grant Amount: $32,300


  • Principal Investigator(s): Jones, S.
  • Investigator(s):
  • Grant Amount: $32,300


Murphy, K., S. Jones, C. Miles (2009). Wheat variety trials in Western Washington. Tilth Producers Quarterly, Spring, 2009.

Related Presentations/Workshops/Field Days (2009 example)

Murphy, K., N. Huber (2009) Small scale grain production. Washington Tilth Producers Annual Conference. Yakima, WA, Nov. 15, 2009.

Murphy, K. (2009). Organic wheat breeding in Washington State. Washington State Borlaug Fellows Program. Pullman, WA, Sept. 20, 2009.

Murphy, K. (2009). Dryland grain and oilseed farming: Field Day. Port Townsend, WA, Sept. 1, 2009.

Murphy, K. (2009). Small scale wheat production. San Juan Islands Wheat Workshop. Friday Harbor, WA, Aug. 31, 2009.

Murphy, K., S. Jones (2009). Evolutionary participatory breeding in wheat. IFOAM Conference on Organic Plant and Animal Breeding. Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 27, 2009.3

Murphy, K., S. Jones (2009). Mineral nutrition and end-use quality in organic and conventional wheat. 3rd International Congress on Food and Nutrition. Quality Low-Input Food Conference,Antalya,Turkey, April 6, 2009.

Murphy, K., S. Jones (2009). Small grains production in Western Washington. Continuing Education for Farmers (withPeninsulaCollege), PortHadlock,WA Feb. 2009.

Lammerts van Bueren,T., S.S. Jones, ……. M.M. Messmer (2010). The need to breed crop varieties suitable for organic farming using wheat, tomato and broccoli as examples: A review. NJAS – Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences doi:10.1016/j.njas.2010.04.001

Later publications from this work:

Arterburn, M, Murphy KM and Jones, SS. (2011) Organic Wheat Breeding. In: Organic Crop Breeding, E.T. Lammerts van Bueren and J.R. Myers (eds.), Wiley-Blackwell.

Matanguihan, G.J.B., K. Murphy, S.S. Jones (2011). Control of common bunt in organic wheat. Plant Disease; Feature Article. 95:92-103.

Hills, Jones, Corbin Rebuilding the Grain Chain., Rural Connections Sept 2011.