September 14, 2015

Contacts: Dr. Clark Neely, 979-862-1412,
Dr. Calvin Trostle, 806-746-6101,

Continuing a long-time Texas High Plains practice, Texas A&M AgriLife has extended its annual wheat “Picks” suggestions for wheat producers across the state.

Faculty with Texas A&M AgriLife Research and AgriLife Extension collaborate by region across the state to conduct extensive wheat variety testing in both research settings and on farms.A Pick variety means this: “Given the data, these are the varieties we would choose to include and emphasize on our farm for wheat grain production in a particular region,” according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists.

Dr. Clark Neely, AgriLife Extension state small grains specialist in College Station, and Dr. Calvin Trostle, AgriLife Extension agronomist in Lubbock, along with other AgriLife personnel then gathered all the data and determined the “Picks” for the state by region.

“Our ongoing criteria include a minimum of three years of data in AgriLife wheat variety trials across numerous annual locations,” Trostle said.

He explained the Picks are not necessarily the numerical top yielders. Other factors that play into the selection include disease resistance traits, insect tolerance or standability.

“These are varietal traits that enable a producer to better manage single-variety potential risk using a mix-and-match approach to cover basic defensive traits on a farm,” Neely said.

The team also offers an early indication of potential desirable varieties based on two or more years of data with its “watch list” of promising varieties.

Data used for 2015-2016 Picks in the four Texas regions where AgriLife wheat variety testing is conducted can be found in “Texas Wheat Variety Trial Results – 2015,” available at

Because leaf rust and stripe rust have a significant potential impact across Texas, particularly when spring production conditions are wet and humid, the wheat selections include current resistance ratings for these. Ratings are noted as R, resistant; MR, moderately resistant; MS, moderately susceptible; and S, susceptible, in the full results discussion.

Variety Picks by region are:

– In South Texas, no new varieties were added due to lack of sufficient new data. Excessive spring rains prevented harvest from three of the main testing locations. The Picks continue as: TAM 304, TAM 305, Duster and Billings. On the watch list are TAM 114, Gallagher and WB Cedar.

– In the Blacklands, picks are included for both hard red winter wheat and soft red winter wheat. Soft red winter wheat Picks are Coker 9553, Pioneer 25R40, TV 8525 and USG 3201. On the Watch List is Dyna-Gro 9012. Hard red winter wheat Picks are TAM 304, Gallagher, Greer, Iba and WB Cedar. On the watch list are TAM 114, SY Monument and WB 4458.

Neely said on average, TAM 114 yielded nearly identical to TAM 304, but had higher test weight, which TAM 304 is often lacking. SY Monument and WB 4458 are potential up-and-coming varieties that have done well the past two years. Another variety worth noting is Billings, which has been a consistently good yielding variety, but due to its early maturity and sprouting susceptibility, growers often shy away from it.

– In the Lower Rio Grande Valley, winter wheat cannot be successfully grown, but limited AgriLife data suggests that Expresso and Rockland have been the most consistent yielding hard red spring wheats, Neely said.

– In the Rolling Plains, the picks are TAM 304, TAM 305, Gallagher and Greer. On the watch list are WB 4458, WB Cedar, WB Grainfield, SY Monument and SY Llano.

– Texas High Plains picks are divided according to irrigation levels. Picks for full irrigation are TAM 113, TAM 304, Iba and Winterhawk. For limited irrigation, they are TAM 111, TAM 112, TAM 113, Iba, T158 and Winterhawk. For dryland, they are TAM 111, TAM 112, TAM 113, Iba, T158 and Winterhawk. On the watch list are Byrd, Denali, Gallagher, SY Monument and WB-Grainfield.

Trostle said TAM 114, formerly tested as TX07A001505, is a new variety with good resistance to rusts, good straw strength, desirable milling and baking qualities, and moderate resistance to some biotypes of Hessian fly. It was previously on the watch list and should have moved to the Picks list this year, but 2015 planting seed is essentially limited to seed blocks, so would be unavailable to producers.