Home   News

New wheat variety available to producers

New wheat variety available to producers

MN-Washburn is resistant to barley yellow dwarf virus

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Wheat growers now have access to a new hard red spring wheat variety.

The University of Minnesota recently released MN-Washburn. It’s named after the Washburn A flour mill, which helped Minneapolis earn the nickname of The Mill City.

The main feature of the variety is the Bdv2 gene, making it resistant to barley yellow dwarf virus.

Pests including the bird cherry-oat aphid, corn leaf aphid, English grain aphid and greenbugs can transmit the virus to wheat crops.

If allowed to spread, barley yellow dwarf virus can have significant effects on yield, said Gary Anderson, a wheat grower from Grygla, Minn.

“I’ve had some bad experiences with the virus,” he told “I’ve seen yield losses of up to 20 percent. So, it’s very important to me to know there’s a variety out there that’s resistant to the virus.”

Other characteristics of the variety include good straw strength (it scored three on a scale of up to nine) and had a test weight of 60.2 pounds per bushel based on a two-year trial.

And despite a 14.2 percent protein level, the variety is a good choice for some growers, said Jim Anderson, a wheat breeder with the University of Minnesota.

“In state trials MN-Washburn stood out due to its consistent yield, superior straw strength and overall disease resistance,” he said in a statement. “While lower in protein than other recent UMN releases, MN-Washburn still provides excellent milling and baking quality.”

Producers interested in learning more about the variety can attend field days at the university’s Northwest Research and Outreach Center or visit on-farm plots.

Plot visits will take place in:

  • LeCenter, June 25, 1:00 pm (GPS 44.457669, -93.676844)
  • Marty/Kimball, June 26, 1:00 pm (GPS 45.390100, -94.309243)
  • Benson, June 26, 5:00 pm (GPS 45.398088, -95.521917)
  • Fergus Falls, July 9, 9:00 am (GPS 46.094802, -96.174936)
  • Oklee, July 10, 9:00 am (GPS 47.776605, -95.858971)
  • Humboldt, July 11, 9:00 am (GPS 48.910487, -97.127943)
  • Strathcona, July 11, 1:00 pm (GPS 48.572373, -96.157484)

Wheat farmers interested in purchasing the new variety can contact the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association.

Barley yellow dwarf virus/Michigan State University photo


Your email address will not be published