Extension/Research Information

2004 Ohio Wheat Performance Test

Ohio State University Extension
Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
The Ohio State University

Horticulture and Crop Science Series 228
July 2004

James Beuerlein, Professor, Dept. Horticulture & Crop Science
Pat Lipps, Professor, Dept. Plant Pathology
Rich Minyo, Jr., Research Associate, Dept. Horticulture & Crop Science

The purpose of the Ohio Wheat Performance Trial is to evaluate wheat varieties, blends, brands, and breeding lines for yield, grain quality and other important performance characteristics. This information gives wheat producers comparative information for selecting the varieties best suited for their production system and market. Varieties differ in yield potential, winter hardiness, maturity, standability, disease and insect resistance, and other agronomic characteristics. Selection should be based on performance from multiple test sites and years.


Each entry was evaluated at five test sites (see front cover) using four replications per site in a randomized complete block design. Plots consisted of 7 rows, 7.5 inches apart and 40 feet long. Participating companies specified the seeding rate for each of their varieties. Tests were planted within ten days after the fly-safe date and approximately 30 pounds of nitrogen was applied at planting followed by the addition of 70-100 pounds in early spring. Herbicides were applied as needed for weed control and the following data were collected:

Yield Plots were harvested with a self propelled plot harvester, and yield is reported in bushels per acre at 13.5 percent moisture.

Test Weight Test weights were measured in lb/bu at all locations using harvest grain moisture and presented as an average for 5 locations.

Seed Size Thousands of harvested seeds per pound. (Example: 15.5 = 15,500 seeds per pound.)

Percent Lodging Lodging was a visual estimate of the percent of plants that lean more than 45 degrees from vertical.

Plant Height Plant height was the distance from the soil surface to the top of the heads.

Heading Date The heading date was the average calendar day of the year on which 50 percent of the heads were completely emerged. (Example: Day 136 = May 16.)

Powdery Mildew (PM) Powdery mildew (caused by Erysiphe graminis) was assessed in Wayne Co. on May 26 when most varieties were flowering (Feekes growth stage 10.5.1). Each plot was rated based on a 0 to 10 scale where: 0 = 0 to trace % leaf area covered; 1 = leaf 4 with trace - 50%; 2 = leaf 3 with 1-5%; 3 = leaf 3 with 5-15%; 4 = leaf 3 with > 15%; 5 = leaf 2 with 1-5%; 6 = leaf 2 with 5-15%; 7 = leaf 2 with >15%; 8 = leaf 1 with 1-5%; 9 = leaf 1 with 5-15%; and 10 = leaf 1 with >15% leaf area covered (leaf 1 = flag leaf). This scale takes into account the percentage leaf area affected and the progress of the disease upward on the plants.

Leaf Blotch Complex (LBC) Leaf blotch complex (caused by Stagonospora nodorum, Pyrenophora tritici-repentis and Bipolaris sorokiniana) was assessed in Wayne Co. on June 18 when most varieties were in the soft dough growth stage (Feekes growth stage 11.1). Each plot was rated based on the percentage of flag leaf area covered by leaf blotches.

Fusarium head scab (FHS) Fusarium head scab (caused by Fusarium graminearum) was assessed in Pickaway Co., Crawford Co. and Wayne Co.on June 4, June 15 and June 18, respectively, when plants were in the late milk to soft dough growth stage (Feekes growth stage 10.5.4 to 11.1). Each plot was rated based on a disease severity estimate as the average percentage of spikelets affected per head.

Flour Yield Flour yield is the percent flour yield from milled whole grain.

Flour Softness Flour softness is the percent of fine-granular milled flour. Values higher than approximately 50 indicate kernel textures that are appropriate for soft wheat. Generally, high values are more desirable for milling and baking.


PREVIOUS CROP Soybean Soybean Soybean Soybean Soybean
SOIL TYPE Hoytville Blount Canfield Kokomo Ockley
TILLAGE No-till Disk Conventional No-till No-till
PLANT DATE Oct. 3 Oct. 9 Oct. 11 Oct. 8 Oct. 10
SOIL pH 6.6 6.8 6.4 6.8 6.1
Soil Test P (ppm) 26 26 53 20 28
Soil Test K (ppm) 134 124 116 100 112
FERTILIZER (N,P,K) 120-46-92 128-80-105 120-60-60 117-92-60 122-81-105
HERBICIDES APPLIED Stinger 2,4-D Harmony Extra Harmony Extra Harmony Extra
HARVEST DATE July 8 July 6 July 10 July 1 July 30


Field and weather conditions were favorable for timely planting in October, 2003. Fall growth was marginally adequate throughout most of the state and all test sites experienced some tillering before the onset of winter dormancy. Winter survival was good with very little winterkill. The weather from March through June was warmer and wetter than normal with less sunlight than normal in May and June. The crop headed earlier than normal and had a relatively long grain fill period in June. The cool cloudy weather of June slowed grain fill in many areas resulting in lower than expected yields. Wet weather in late May and early June was responsible for increased disease levels at some test sites. All test sites received rain between physiological maturity and harvest which lowered test weights, reduced grain quality, and delayed harvest. The amount of yield and quality loss was a function of the variety maturity date and weather at the test location. The generally low level of disease in Northwestern Ohio allowed for higher yields and test weights than at other test sites.

Wheat Test Locator Map



Results of the 2004 wheat variety performance evaluation is presented in tables 1-6. Entries in the data tables are arranged in order of increasing average heading date. A least significant difference (LSD) is reported for yield and can be used to determine if the performance of two varieties was statistically different. The yields of two varieties are expected to be significantly different 70 percent of the time if their yields differ by more than the LSD value reported. Test to determine flour yield and softness were performed by USDA-ARS soft wheat quality laboratory, at OARDC in Wooster, OH, Charles Gaines, director.

Test results for the 59 soft red winter wheat varieties are presented in Table 1. Tables 2 and 3 contain multi-year performance data. Depending on variety and test site, 2004 yields were between 51.6 and 93.2 bushels per acre, and average test weight ranged from 54.0 to 61.1 pounds per bushel. The average heading date was three days earlier than in 2003, and plants were two inches shorter than in 2003. Variety selection should be based on disease resistance, average yield across test sites and years (tables 2 & 3), winter hardiness, test weight and standability.

Six soft white winter wheat varieties were evaluated along with the soft red varieties at sites 1, 2 and 3. Performance of those varieties is presented in Table 4, with two-year performance data in table 5.

Soft white winter wheat and hard red winter wheat should never be mixed together or be mixed with soft red winter wheat because they have very different flour characteristics and end uses. Mixing of different classes of wheat destroys their unique utility, makes them unacceptable for quality premiums and reduces their usefulness to animal feed only.

        Table 6. Reaction of winter wheat varieties to various diseases in Ohio.

        Disease evaluations Weather conditions in Wayne Co. favored early and late disease development providing the opportunity to evaluate powdery mildew, the leaf blotch complex and head scab. Powdery mildew was sufficiently uniform throughout the plots that varietiy comparisons could be made. Varieties lacking sufficient resistance had powdery mildew developing on the second leaf (leaf below the flag leaf) by late boot stage. Varieties with this level of susceptibility would likely have significant yield loss when weather conditions favor powdery mildew development.

        Several different leaf blotch diseases were prevalent in the Wayne Co. plots. Stagonospora leaf blotch was the most common, but tan spot and spot blotch were also present. No attempt was made to differentiate among these diseases since the symptoms are nearly identical and the damage they cause to plants is similar. Varieties differed greatly in their reaction to leaf blotch (3.0% to 52% flag leaf damage) such that the more resistant lines had less than 10% of the flag leaf area affected whereas the more susceptible varieties had over 30% leaf area affected. Yield was significantly impacted on varieties with over 20% flag leaf area affected at this growth stage.

        Fusarium head scab was common in all locations but disease evaluations were conducted in Pickaway Co., Crawford Co. and Wayne Co. because these locations had relatively uniform disease pressure throughout the plots. Disease severity was greater in Crawford Co. and Wayne Co. than in Pickaway Co. However, varieties responded similarly across all three locations indicating that varieties with lower levels of scab have stable levels of moderate resistance and are predicted to have less scab under moderate levels of disease pressure.

        Table 7 contains the company name, address and telephone number for each variety entered in the 2004 wheat performance trial.

        This report can be found on the Internet at: www.agcrops.osu.edu and www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~perf . Any column of data can be sorted by clicking at the top of the column, which makes it easy to arrange varieties in order by any characteristic for comparison purposes.

Inclusion of varieties in the Ohio Wheat Performance Trial does not constitute an endorsement of any variety by The Ohio State University, Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center, or Ohio State University Extension.

Go to Ohio Crop Performance

All educational programs conducted by Ohio State University Extension are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, gender, age, disability or Vietnam-era veteran status.

Keith L. Smith, Associate Vice President for Ag. Adm. and Director, OSU Extension.

TDD No. 800-589-8292 (Ohio only) or 614-292-1868

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