University of Minnesota Releases ‘MN-Washburn’ Wheat & 'MN-Pearl' Oat

MN-Washburn

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (06/17/19) — The University of Minnesota (UMN) has released a new hard red spring wheat variety called ‘MN-Washburn.’ MN-Washburn features excellent straw strength and good overall disease resistance. In particular, it contains the bdv2 gene for resistance to Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV) making in an excellent choice in years when BYDV is prevalent.

“In state trials MN-Washburn stood out due to its consistent yield, superior straw strength and overall disease resistance,” said Jim Anderson, University of Minnesota wheat breeder, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. “While lower in protein than other recent UMN releases, MN-Washburn still provides excellent milling and baking quality.” 

The new release is named after the Washburn A flour mill (built in 1874 and then rebuilt in 1880 after a fire). The Washburn A mill was once the largest flour mill in the world and at its peak milled approximately two million lbs. of flour a day. The Washburn A flour mill, along with others in the area, helped earn Minneapolis the nickname, The Mill City. 

“MN-Washburn is a great all-arounder in addition to being the first hard red spring wheat to contain the bdv2 gene for resistance to BYDV,” said Jochum Wiersma, UMN Associate Professor in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and an Extension Agronomist.

MN-Washburn joins several other recent University of Minnesota spring wheat varieties; Lang-MN (2017), Shelly (2016), Bolles (2015), Linkert (2013), and Rollag (2011).  These varieties offer growers a good combination of strong characteristics and perform well across the upper Midwest.

More detailed performance data and comparisons of previously released varieties can be found on the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station website at www.maes.umn.edu. Prior to being formally named, MN-Washburn was tested as MN10201-4-A.

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Researchers in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota have been evaluating and developing wheat varieties since 1889. Evaluation and breeding is supported in part by funding from USDA-NIFA and the Small Grain’s Initiative and administered by the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.

Seed Availability

MN-Washburn seed will be distributed through Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA) members for planting in spring 2020. Visit the MCIA website - www.mncia.org - where a list of Certified seed producers will be available in September. Or contact MCIA at 1-800-510-6242

Contacts:

  • Jim Anderson, University of Minnesota wheat breeder, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, ander319@umn.edu, 612-625-9763
  • Jochum Wiersma, University of Minnesota Extension Agronomist, Northwest Research and Outreach Center, wiers002@umn.edu, 218-281-8629, Cell: 218-280-0123
  • Roger Wippler, Minnesota Crop Improvement Association, wippl002@umn.edu, 1-800-510-6242

MN-Pearl

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (06/19/19) — The University of Minnesota (UMN), in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan, has released a new white hull oat variety called ‘MN-Pearl.’ MN-Pearl is a high-yielding variety with good straw strength and high groat percentage. It also has good overall disease resistance including moderate crown rust resistance and excellent smut resistance.

“In state trials MN-Pearl established itself as a late-maturing, high-yielding variety with good overall disease resistance,” said Kevin Smith UMN oat breeder, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. “In particular, MN-Pearl has excellent smut resistance, thus continuing the University’s tradition of releasing oat varieties that do not require chemical seed treatment to protect them from this disease.” 

The new variety was bred as part of the collaborative oat-evaluation program established by longtime UMN oat breeder Deon Stuthman, who retired in 2009, and Brian Rossnagel, who led the oat and barley breeding program at the Crop Development Centre in Saskatchewan until his retirement in 2011. For many years the two programs exchanged and evaluated a number of breeding lines with a simple handshake between the breeders as an agreement to share in the release of any varieties arising from those exchanges. 

"MN-Pearl is the result of good old-fashioned plant breeder collaboration via simple germplasm exchange and sharing,” said Brian Rossnagel. "I am very pleased that our two institutions have, with the ongoing assistance of our colleague Howard Rines, honored that handshake between Stuthman and myself as we were not only colleagues but good friends. Let's hope that MN-Pearl serves oat growers as well as our collaboration has."

“MN-Pearl is truly a white-seed version of another popular oat variety, Deon,” said Jochum Wiersma, Extension Professor in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and an Extension Agronomist. “Growers should expect similar maturity, protein, yield and disease resistance from this new option.”

MN-Pearl joins UMN release Deon (2012) as a variety offering a good combination of characteristics that performs well across the upper Midwest. The new variety’s name reflects its pearly-white hull, a trait that is often sought after by millers.

More detailed performance data and comparisons of previously released varieties can be found on the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station website at www.maes.umn.edu. Prior to being formally named, MN-Pearl was tested as MN11211.

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Researchers in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota have been evaluating and developing oat varieties since 1889. Evaluation and breeding is supported in part by funding from USDA-NIFA and the Small Grain’s Initiative and administered by the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.

Seed Availability

MN-Pearl seed will be distributed through Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA) members for planting in spring 2020. Visit the MCIA website—www.mncia.org—where a list of Certified seed producers will be available in September. Or contact MCIA at 1-800-510-6242. 

Contacts:

  • Kevin Smith, University of Minnesota barley, oat and silphium breeder, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, smith376@umn.edu, 612-624-1211 
  • Jochum Wiersma, University of Minnesota Extension Agronomist, Northwest Research and Outreach Center, wiers002@umn.edu, 218-281-8629, Cell: 218-280-0123
  • Roger Wippler, Minnesota Crop Improvement Association, wippl002@umn.edu, 1-800-510-6242