Wheat improvement efforts at Hays started soon after the turn of the century when the station was first established. Since then, 14 wheat varieties primarily developed at Hays have been released to Kansas wheat producers. Over 120 million Kansas wheat acres have been planted with Hays-developed varieties. Those varieties include Kiowa, Bison, Eagle, Sage, Kirwin, Larned, Cheney, Arkan, Dodge, Norkan, Ike, Trego, Lakin, Stanton, Danby, RonL, and Tiger. Genetic enhancement of wheat at Hays is an integral part of the total Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station’s wheat improvement program. Close cooperation exists between the Hays and Manhattan wheat improvement units. The Hays unit primarily develops varieties adapted to western Kansas while the Manhattan unit concentrates on varieties adapted to central and eastern Kansas. Varieties such as Newton, Karl, Karl 92, Jagger, 2137, Overley, Fuller, and Everest were selected by the Manhattan unit, but were thoroughly tested by both programs statewide prior to release.
In 1987, the breeding focus at Hays begin changing gradually to the development of hard winter wheats with a white seed coat. This change in focus culminated in 1998 when the program was almost totally directed toward the development of hard white winter wheats. This change has been implemented in an effort to increase world demand for Kansas wheat. The world markets prefer white wheat and only purchase red wheat if white is not available or red wheat price is discounted significantly. In 2005 we began to convert about half of the Hays program back to hard red wheat. As of 2011 we are now testing Hays developed hard reds in replicated yield tests in western Kansas.
Breeding objectives for hard winter wheats adapted to western Kansas include the development of white seeded varieties that have excellent bread baking characteristics as well as excellent noodle making characteristics. Noodle quality is very important to gaining market share in Asia. Control of major pests through host resistance is also a high priority for both red and white wheats.. Resistance to wheat streak mosaic, Triticum mosaic virus, soil-borne mosaic virrus, leaf rust, stripe rust and Hessian fly top the objective list. Current Projects
Current Research Projects
Tatanka Wheat Variety
Tatanka is a hard red winter wheat variety released in 2016. It has medium maturity and medium height. It has good drought tolerance and has performed well under drought conditions in western Kansas. It has high yield potential if giving the moisture. Tatanka has good winter-hardiness and medium-long coleoptile length. It has good tolerance to grain shattering and pre-harvest sprouting. Tatanka is moderately tolerant to acid soil. It has good resistance to stripe rust, stem rust, and soilborne mosaic virus. It is intermediate to scab and barley yellow dwarf virus. It is susceptible to wheat streak mosaic virus and Hessian fly.
Joe Wheat Variety
Joe is a hard white winter wheat variety released in 2015. Joe is medium late and medium tall. It has good grain shattering tolerance. Joe has very competitive yield potential and it performs well in both central and western Kansas. Joe has very good resistance to the three most important diseases in western Kansas: wheat streak mosaic virus, stripe rust, and leaf rust. Joe has an average test weight, good milling quality, and above average baking quality. It is moderately susceptible to pre-harvest sprouting and soilborne mosaic virus, and susceptible to Hessian fly.
Oakley CL Wheat Variety
Oakley CL is a hard red winter wheat variety released in 2013. Oakley CL is a one-gene Clearfield wheat. Oakley CL is medium late and medium tall. It has good straw strength and grain shattering tolerance. It has long coleoptile length. Oakley CL has performed well in western Kansas, especially in northwestern Kansas. Oakley CL has very good resistance to wheat streak mosaic virus, stem rust, and stripe rust. It has the Wsm2 gene for wheat streak mosaic virus resistance. It is resistant to both 2010 and 2012 races of stripe rust. Oakley CL has good milling and baking quality. It has good mixing tolerance. Its test weight is about average.
Clara CL Wheat Variety
Clara CL is a hard white winter wheat variety released in 2011. Clara CL is a one-gene Clearfield wheat. It is medium late and medium tall. Clara CL has good tolerance to both grain shattering and pre-harvest sprouting. It performs well in dryland in western Kansas. Clara CL has resistances to leaf rust, stem rust, and wheat streak mosaic virus. It had good stripe rust resistance in 2010, but it was intermediate in 2012 because of the race change. Clara CL is moderately resistant to soilborne mosaic virus and Hessian fly. It has good test weight.
Tiger Wheat Variety
Tiger is a new hard white winter wheat variety developed and released by the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station in 2010. Foundation seed was distributed to seed producers in 2010. Foundation, Registered, and Certified seed will be available in the fall of 2011. The name tiger was chosen to honor all the technicians and summer help that worked for the wheat breeding program at the Agricultural Research Center. Most attained degrees at Fort Hays University, whose mascot is the Tiger.
Danby is a new, hard white winter wheat variety developed and released by the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station. Foundation seed was distributed to seed producers in 2005. Foundation, Registered, and Certified seed will be available in the fall of 2006.
Fuller is a hard red winter wheat variety developed cooperatively by the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station and the Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Foundation seed of Fuller was distributed to Kansas registered seed growers for fall planting in 2006. Foundation and registered seed will be available for fall planting in 2007. Fuller is named for Herbert Fuller Roberts, a professor of botany who first began selection for improved varieties of hard winter wheat in Kansas in 1906. One of those selections became 'Kanred', the first improved wheat variety released by K-State. The name was chosen in honor of the Centennial Celebration of the Department of Agronomy at Kansas State University.
Lakin is a hard white winter wheat variety developed cooperatively by the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Agricultural experiment stations in Nebraska and Colorado joined in the release of Lakin. Seed was distributed in these states for fall planting in 2000. Foundation and Registered seed will be available to producers for planting in 2001 and Certified seed should be available in 2002.
RonL is a hard white winter wheat variety developed and released by the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station. Foundation seed was distributed to seed producers in 2006. Foundation, Registered, and Certified seed will be available in the fall of 2007. RonL was named to honor the contributions that Dr. Ron Livers made to the Kansas wheat industry by developing such wheat varieties as Eagle, Sage, and Larned during his tenure at the KSU Agricultural Research Center — Hays.
Trego is a hard white winter wheat variety developed by the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station. Agricultural Experiment Stations at Nebraska, Colorado, and Oklahoma joined Kansas in the release of Trego. Seed was distributed in these states for fall planting in 1999. Foundation, Registered and Certified seed will be available in 2000.