Winter Wheat Varieties With an East and South Central Nebraska Fit

Winter Wheat Varieties With an East and South Central Nebraska Fit

Jefferson county field
Figure 1. Variety trial in Jefferson County in 2020 conducted by UNL faculty and staff (Cody Creech, Amanda Easterly, Brian Maust, Nathan Mueller, and farmer host Mark Knobel) are an important process to help guide grower’s variety selection and rate disease susceptibility by UNL Plant Pathologist Stephen Wegulo.

Winter wheat planting will soon be upon us in east and south central Nebraska as soybean harvest is not far off this year. According to the latest comprehensive USDA-NASS data, growers in the northeast (not reported) east central (7,550 acres), southeast (29,450 acres), and south central (79,340) Nebraska crop reporting district harvested roughly 116,000 acres of winter wheat in 2019. Winter wheat is the fourth most planted crop in this region of 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 a crop rotation are two of the many reason growers should consider adding or keeping winter wheat in their rotation in east and south central Nebraska.

Variety selection and disease management in this higher rainfall region of Nebraska are the two most important management factors driving yield. We encourage you to read two past articles, wheat disease updates and disease management strategies to reduce losses in 2020. As you select varieties, utilize resources available to you including the four resources highlighted below.

Local UNL Winter Wheat Variety Trial Results

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln conducted winter wheat variety trials each year in 6 locations over the past 3 years in east Nebraska (Washington, Saunders, and Lancaster counties) and south central Nebraska (Harlan, Clay, and Jefferson counties). You can view individual location results for each year, but more importantly, you can view the 2-year and 3-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.

UNL Variety Tour Videos for East and South Central Nebraska

In June, short 1-minute videos of each variety tested at the Lancaster County location were created for farmers and agronomist. You can view these 26 short videos at UNL MediaHub Winter Wheat Works Initiative Channel. Nathan Mueller and Todd Whitney, cropping system educators created 3 longer videos discussing varieties tested in the 2020 south central UNL Variety Trials including an introduction/overview, commercial varieties, and experimental/check varieties. These three videos can also be found at UNL MediaHub Winter Wheat Works Initiative Channel.

Winter Wheat Cafe – Website for Wheat Growers in East and South Central Nebraska

In addition to all the great resources available on CropWatch for wheat growers, an additional website called Crop Tech Cafe created by local cropping systems educator, Nathan Mueller, has a dedicated page for wheat producers in east and south central Nebraska called Winter Wheat Cafe. The website features:

  • Top reasons to grow winter wheat in east and south central Nebraska
  • Important wheat resources for winter wheat for east and south central Nebraska
  • What’s Up This WHEAT (Week)? Newsletter, signup now and view archive of past updates
  • Seeding rate Excel calculator (download)
  • Evaluating winter wheat stands handout and video
  • 2020 east and south central Nebraska hard red winter wheat variety selection table
  • 2020 digital tour of company recommended varieties for east and south central Nebraska

Newer Varieties to Consider with Moderate Resistance to Fusarium Head Blight

Fusarium head blight and other prevalent diseases such as leaf rust, stripe rust, wheat soilborne mosaic virus, and bacterial leaf streak can significantly affect winter wheat in east and south central Nebraska. Variety selection in combination with other best management practices can help minimize the impact these diseases have on your wheat production. Following is a list of newer varieties adapted to the region that are considered to have moderate to intermediate resistance to Fusarium head blight.

Map of Nebraska USDA Crop Reporting Districts
Figure 2. Map of Nebraska USDA Crop Reporting Districts highlighting four of the districts including south central (orange), southeast (purple), east central (green), and northeast (blue).

WB4401 (2020) – Tech Sheet – Variety from WestBred and tested in some locations in east and south central Nebraska UNL variety trials this season for the first time in 2020. Company placement or area of adaptation in Nebraska is east of Highway 83 and includes south central, southeast, east central, and northeast districts.

KS Western Star (2020) – Tech Sheet – Variety from the Kansas Wheat Alliance (K-State) and tested in south central and west central Nebraska UNL variety trials this season for the first time in 2020. Company placement or area of adaptation in Nebraska is the south central district.

LCS Valiant (2019) – Tech Sheet – Variety (tested as NE10478-1) from UNL Breeding Program and sold by Limagrain Cereal Seeds was tested 3 years (2018-2019) in the east and south central Nebraska UNL variety trials. Company placement or areas of adaptation in Nebraska includes the south central, southeast, and east central districts.

WB4699 (2019) – Tech Sheet – Variety from WestBred and tested in the east Nebraska UNL variety trials in 2019 and 2020 and south central in 2020. Company placement or area of adaptation in Nebraska is east of Highway 183 and includes south central, southeast, east central, and northeast districts.

SY Benefit (2018) – Tech Sheet – Variety from AgriPro and tested in the east Nebraska UNL variety trials in 2018 and 2019 and south central the past 3 years (2018-2020). Company placement or area of adaptation in Nebraska are south central and southeast districts.

Zenda (2017) – Tech Sheet – Variety from the Kansas Wheat Alliance (K-State) and tested in both the east and south central UNL Variety trials the past 3 years (2018-2020). Company placement or area of adaptation in Nebraska includes the southeast and east central districts.

WB4269 (2016) – Tech Sheet – Variety from WestBred and tested in both the east and south central UNL Variety trials the past 3 years (2018-2020). Company placement or area of adaptation in Nebraska is east of Highway 183 and includes south central, southeast, and east central, and northeast districts.