New wheat variety

New wheat variety

David Sparks Ph.D.
David Sparks Ph.D.
The University of Idaho will soon release a new hard white spring wheat variety that should set the gold standard for its class. 

U of I wheat breeder Jianli Chen has named some of her most promising varieties after precious metals and minerals – including UI Silver, UI Platinum and UI Bronze Jade – expressing the relative value she places on each one.   

At long last, Chen has found a cultivar worthy of the name UI Gold.  

She’ll release UI Gold, a top yielder in her trials with exceptional baking qualities, later this summer.  

“I told myself UI Gold will be the last cultivar before I retire. I didn’t decide I wanted to retire, but this one I wanted to name as UI Gold,” Chen said. “I think it will be valued like gold. If I have cultivars better than UI Gold later, I could say Gold 1 or Gold 2.” 

Chen will market UI Gold throughout southeast Idaho as a replacement for Washington State University’s hard white spring wheat, Dayn, and Syngenta’s SY Teton. UI Gold has out-yielded SY Teton in trials. Its yields are comparable with Dayn, but UI Gold has superior gluten strength.   

“This year the world markets are short of hard wheat,” Chen said. “Growers can plant this in southeast Idaho to help with the shortage of hard wheats in the U.S. and some overseas countries. This line has been tested by overseas bakers and they like it. High yield and excellent bread baking quality for domestic and overseas end users puts this cultivar in a very unique position.” 

UI Gold grows to a medium height. It’s been among the best yielders in UI Extension trials in southeast Idaho and in breeding trials at the Aberdeen Research and Extension Center during the past three years, both under irrigation and on dry land.

It’s yielded as high as 132 bushels per acre under irrigation, with an average yield of 115 bushels per acre.  

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