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During the field day’s wheat stop, Bruce Jones, Terral Seed sales representative, pointed to four varieties. The first two fit “Southern geography” better.
• LA841: “This is a short variety with a big beard,” said Jones. “It has an excellent disease package and is one of the earliest products on the market, right now. It’s an excellent double-crop choice.
“Since it’s been out a while, you might worry about the disease package. But we’ve seen it under intense stripe rust pressure this year and still haven’t had to spray. It’s about the only wheat we’ve had that we haven’t sprayed a fungicide on. It’s very, very clean and your budget will look even better without a fungicide application.”
• LA821: “LA821 is about two days earlier than 841. It’s also an excellent double-crop wheat. It’s short with a big, pretty beard and an excellent disease package.”
However, 821 may need an occasional fungicide application. “It’s very clean nine out of 10 years. But if you have to spray, it’s worth it because it has great yield potential.
“841 and 821 are both very early. So, the farther South you are, the better they do.”
This year was an anomaly for late-season wheat varieties in Louisiana. Many “did much better” than usual. “The reason is the late wheat caught a late rain that allowed the crop to do very well. The heads filled out whereas my 821/841 had already finished out so it didn’t do as well in comparison. Also, we had the coldest winter we’ve had in a while.”
Growers shouldn’t count on a late rain, warned Jones. “Nine out of 10 years you need an early-maturing wheat.”
The second pair of wheat varieties mentioned “fit better farther north.”
• TV8589: This variety has been grown “from Alexandria, La., north. A lot is in the Texas market.”
8589 “is very clean with disease but could be one that needs a fungicide application. It’s pretty tall and is the only ‘slick’ wheat we sell — it doesn’t have a beard. It’s Terral’s best test-weight wheat.”
• TVX8861: 8861 “is the new kid on the block. It’s a short-statured, bearded wheat and was number one across all north Louisiana variety trials.
“I keep mentioning Louisiana because it’s a different world. I-20 north is the corridor for this one. It did really well in Alexandria — we had a cold year for this to vernalize and we caught late rains. This one has the best disease package we have. We’ve yet to see it with powdery mildew, leaf rust, stem rust, or stripe rust.”