January 22, 2003 | By: Laura Skillman

The University of Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station has released two new wheat varieties that will be marketed by a Hopkinsville seed company.

Each variety initially was developed in 1990 by crossing two varieties, said Dave Van Sanford, UK wheat breeder. Around 1995 they were placed in yield tests. Last summer, all the data was summarized and the varieties proved worthy of release.  Marketing rights for KY90C-54-6 and KY90C-292-4-1 have been granted to Kentucky American Seed of Hopkinsville.  The soft red winter wheats will be marketed as Allegiance and Declaration, respectively. Both are bearded wheats.

Funding for the wheat breeding research came from the Kentucky Small Grain Promotion Council’s wheat check-off program.

Key features of Allegiance are its excellent yield potential and yield stability, meaning it can do well in a good or bad year.

Allegiance also has good winter hardiness. The variety was placed in the Uniform Eastern Nursery, a U.S. Department of Agriculture system that has grown the variety in about 30 locations across the United States including Kansas and Nebraska.

“So, it has gone through some pretty severe winter conditions in good shape,” Van Sanford said.

“But, what we are most excited about is the excellent type two resistance to head scab,” he said. “Type two resistance is resistance to the spread of the fungus throughout the head.”

Allegiance also has moderate resistance to leaf rust, powdery mildew and septoria leaf and bloom blotch. It has a mid-season maturity and is mid-tall to tall. It stood well under very high nitrogen rates but it is a tall variety, Van Sanford said.

Declaration has looked good for as long as it has been tested, he said. It is an early variety and short in stature making it ideal for intensive management, he said.

It has the same foliar disease resistance as Allegiance but does not have the resistance to scab.

 “As excited as we are about these new releases, we continue to look at what’s down the road,” he said. “We are finding some excellent resistance and I think the outlook is good for finding scab resistance.

“We are also working on soft white winter wheat. Limited acres have been grown in Kentucky under contract in the past five years. We are hopeful this market will grow. The interest in this wheat is for specific end products. It does not have the bitter tannins that soft red winter wheat has, so it can be used in flavorful whole wheat products.”

End use quality is becoming a bigger issue than in the past.

“It’s on a lot of people’s minds as we release varieties these days,” Van Sanford said. “The idea would be that we release a variety not just for bulk commodity use but one which has specific attributes that the millers like so there is some added value there. Hopefully the grower can capture some of that value by growing that wheat on an identity preserved basis under contract. One of these kinds of traits is gluten strength.

“We released a high gluten wheat a couple of years ago to a Canadian company,” he said. “It turned out to be very suited for the northern area and it is being sold on an identity preserved basis up there.”



Dave Van Sanford, (859) 257-5811