Winter Wheat Varieties for Eastern Nebraska

Winter wheat field trials conducted at the University of Nebraska Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center in 2018-2019.
Figure 1. Variety trials conducted by UNL in eastern Nebraska are an important process to help guide grower’s variety selection and rate disease susceptibility.

Winter Wheat Varieties for Eastern Nebraska

Winter wheat planting will soon be upon us in eastern Nebraska as soybeans start turning this week. According to the latest comprehensive USDA-NASS data, growers in the three eastern Nebraska crop reporting districts harvested nearly 50,000 acres in 2018. Winter wheat is the fourth most planted crop in eastern Nebraska after corn, soybean, and alfalfa. Increasing challenges with disease and insect management in corn and soybeans along with known soil health benefits of wheat in the rotation are two of the many reasons growers should consider adding or keeping winter wheat in the rotation in eastern Nebraska.

Variety selection and disease management in eastern Nebraska are the two most important management factors driving yield. I encourage you to read past articles on the Review of the 2018-19 Eastern Nebraska Winter Wheat Growing Season and Disease Management Strategies to Reduce Losses in 2020. As you select varieties, use resources available to you including:

  • UNL Winter Wheat Variety Trial Results and Digital Variety Tour
  • 2019-2020 Eastern Nebraska Winter Wheat Variety Selection Table
  • Varieties to consider with good disease resistance to frequent diseases in eastern Nebraska

UNL Winter Wheat Variety Trial Results and Digital Variety Tour

The University of Nebraska conducted winter wheat variety trials in five locations each year over the past three years in eastern Nebraska in the following counties: Washington, Saunders, Lancaster, Saline/Jefferson, and Clay. You can view individual location results for each year, but more importantly you can view the two-year and three-year multi-location average for yield, test weight, protein, seed size, and plant height. It is important to remember that the top-yielding variety may not always be the most profitable after test weight and protein are factored in at your local elevator. Did you miss the wheat variety trial field days for eastern Nebraska (Jefferson County on June 13 and Saunders County on June 18)? Take the digital variety tour for the Saunders County at the Winter Wheat Cafe.

Table to Help with Winter Wheat Variety Selection in Eastern Nebraska

Company representatives (WestBred, AgriPro, Limagrain Cereal Seeds, Husker Genetics, NuPride) were contacted or company placement tools (Kansas Wheat Alliance, Dyna-Gro, AgriMaxx) were utilized to create a list of hard red winter wheat varieties recommended for placement in the eastern Nebraska growing region. Variety trait rankings were created from numerous sources, including UNL variety trial data in Nebraska, University of Nebraska publications, Kansas State University publications, Colorado State University publications, and seed company publications. There are footnotes below the table explaining the use of these various data sources for the ratings and that these ratings may change as additional data becomes available.

Newer Varieties to Consider with Moderate Resistance to Fusarium Head Blight

Fusarium head blight and other prevalent diseases such as leaf rust, stripe rust, soilborne mosaic virus, and bacterial leaf streak can significantly impact winter wheat in eastern Nebraska. Variety selection in combination with other best management practices can help minimize the impact these diseases have on your wheat production. The following varieties are being evaluated in the 2019-2020 eastern or south-central Nebraska variety trials and were rated moderately resistant (3, 4 or 5) to Fusarium head blight (FHB) in UNL 2018-19 trials:

(UNL 2019 FHB Rating) – Variety – Tech Sheet - Info

(3) WB4699Tech Sheet – released in 2018 by WestBred and tested in the eastern Nebraska UNL variety trials this season for the first time. WB4699 is a medium-maturing short-statured variety with company placement for all of eastern Nebraska. WB4699 ranked first for yield across locations in 2019.

(4) SY BenefitTech Sheet – released in 2018 by AgriPro and tested two years in the eastern Nebraska UNL variety trials. SY Benefit is an early-maturing medium-statured variety with company placement for all of eastern Nebraska.

(5) LCS ValiantTech Sheet – released in 2019 by Limagrain Cereal Seeds and tested for three years in the eastern Nebraska UNL variety trials as NE10478-1. LCS Valiant is an early-maturing medium-statured variety with company placement in southeast Nebraska. LCS Valiant ranked second for yield in the two-year multi-location average.

(5) ZendaTech Sheet – released in 2016 by the Kansas Wheat Alliance and tested from 2016-2019 in the eastern Nebraska UNL variety trials. Zenda is a medium-maturing medium statured variety with placement for east central and southeast Nebraska. Zenda ranked 3rd for yield in the two-year multi-location average.

(5) WB4269 Tech Sheet – released in 2017 by WestBred and tested three years in the eastern Nebraska UNL trials. WB4269 is an early-maturing short-statured variety with company placement for all of eastern Nebraska.