The new wheat variety, now known as LA841, will be available to growers by summer 2003. Terral Seed Inc. of Lake Providence, La., has been awarded exclusive license to produce and market the variety as Terral LA841.

LA841 was developed by the LSU AgCenter wheat and oat-breeding program under the direction of Stephen Harrison. Selection and early testing of the wheat variety in Baton Rouge were followed by yield trial evaluations at LSU AgCenter research stations across Louisiana.

LA841 has been tested across Louisiana and in surrounding states since 1998, and breeder seed of LA841 was produced at the Northeast Research Station in Winnsboro during the 2001-2002 growing season.

“It’s a good locally adapted wheat variety for Louisiana farmers,” says Harrison. “It has excellent grain yield and is resistant to prevalent races of leaf rust and stripe rust. It also shows good straw strength and does not have a tendency to head too early and sustain spring freeze injury.”

David Boethel, LSU AgCenter associate vice chancellor, said because the variety’s pedigree indicates a different source of genetic resistance to leaf rust than varieties currently grown, it may retain its leaf rust resistance longer.

“This should be valuable if races of the pathogen appear,” Boethel said.

Studies show LA841 had the lowest leaf rust (0 percent) and stripe (1 percent) rust ratings of 17 varieties from 12 Louisiana test locations in 2001 and 2002. It had an average yield of 74 bushels per acre in these trials – just 3 bushels per acre lower than the highest-yielding entry and equal to the yield of wheat varieties USG 3209 and Coker 9152.

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