Arkansas farmers would be interested in the release of 1283 for one reason over all others: it's resistant to aerial blight.

“Panicle aerial blight is a super-sized pain for our producers,” says Rick Cartwright, Arkansas Extension plant pathologist. “It's the main thing that keeps our medium-grains in fits. Four out of every five years, it is bad. We just can't get good control of it — the varieties available are too susceptible.”

Aerial blight can “suck away 25 to 50 bushels of yield per acre. Without the disease, Bengal is capable of producing around 200 bushels on good farms. When aerial blight hits, yields can drop to 160 bushels. That's a big hit.

“We've been testing 1283 in our nurseries,” says Cartwright. “It appears to be resistant to aerial blight in our conditions as well as Louisiana's.”