September 19, 2007 | By: Laura Skillman
LEXINGTON, KY.

The University of Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and the Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association teamed up this spring to offer a new wheat variety to Kentucky producers under a unique arrangement.

“For many years the UK Wheat Breeding program has been generously supported by checkoff dollars administered by KySGGA,” said Dave Van Sanford, UK wheat breeder, who developed the variety through UK’s wheat breeding program. “The release of the variety called Pembroke is seen as a way to give something back to the Kentucky wheat producers.”

The first step in this process is to produce enough foundation seed for sale and distribution. During the 2007-08 production year, Pembroke will be produced at three locations in Kentucky. Once the foundation seed is cleaned and conditioned, the KySGGA will begin marketing the seed for the 2008-2009 growing season. The agreement with the UK Agricultural Experiment Station states KySGGA will sell seed in 100-bushel increments at $30 per bushel. 

“In our research efforts in the college our goal is to provide farmers with ever improving technologies, and these efforts are often supported by farmers through their commodity organizations,” said Nancy Cox, UK College of Agriculture associate dean for research and director of the agricultural experiment station. “Being able to provide this Kentucky-bred variety to the state’s producers is a great example of this team effort coming to fruition.”

Pembroke is neither patented nor protected under the Plant Variety Protection Act, Van Sanford said. This means that once growers have seed of the variety, they have the right to produce and save seed for their future use, or they can sell seed to others as long as they adhere to all statutes of the Kentucky Seed Law.

"Several Kentucky wheat producers have expressed interest in acquiring the UK variety," said Todd Barlow, KySGGA executive director. "Our goal is to make the variety available to as many producers as possible."

Pembroke is a bearded, soft red winter wheat released for its grain yield potential, superior test weight and excellent powdery mildew resistance. Pembroke also has good resistance to prevalent races of stripe rust, and moderate resistance to Fusarium head blight and speckled leaf blotch, Van Sanford said.

Straw strength and lodging resistance of Pembroke are excellent; milling and baking quality is acceptable. Pembroke is mid-early, heading approximately two days later than the ‘Clark’ variety; however Pembroke breaks dormancy early and therefore should not be planted too early in the fall, Van Sanford said.

Contact: 

Dave Van Sanford, 859-257-5020, ext. 80770, Todd Barlow, 502-243-4150