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PlainsGold to market new semi-solid hard white wheat variety

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — PlainsGold will market Windom SF in 2022, a new hard white winter wheat variety that was developed to help wheat growers combat the wheat stem sawfly. Windom SF carries a stem-solidness trait that helps defend against the wheat stem sawfly, an insect that has alarmed the wheat industry in the High Plains as it spreads and increases in severity.

“Windom SF is the first hard white variety to be released from our program that carries a gene that confers stem solidness,” said Esten Mason, CSU wheat breeder, whose team developed the variety. “Stem solidness is rated on a 5-25 scale, where 5 is completely hollow, and 25 is completely solid. Higher levels of solidness tend to make it more difficult for the wheat stem sawfly larvae to chew its way down to the base of the stem and cut the stem just prior to harvest. We see lower levels of cutting in varieties with higher levels of stem solidness. Windom SF is rated at 16.6 for solidness, which is about 4 points higher than Fortify SF, and 10-11 points higher than a typical hollow-stemmed variety.”

Windom SF, in addition to its stem solidness, has excellent milling and baking quality. It carries a gene which confers extra-strong dough mixing properties. It will add to a suite of varieties developed for inclusion in the Colorado Wheat Research Foundation/Ardent Mills UltraGrain Premium Program. UltraGrain is a brand of white whole wheat flour owned by Ardent Mills that delivers whole grain nutrition in mainstream foods with the taste, texture and color consumers prefer. This ongoing program has brought growers the opportunity for premiums with identity preserved grain and varieties like Snowmass, Breck, and Snowmass 2.0.



“The Colorado Wheat Research Foundation/Ardent Mills UltraGrain Premium Program has been a great option for producers to grow something other than commodity hard red winter wheat and get a premium for doing so,” said Brad Erker, executive director of the Colorado Wheat Research Foundation. “With the wheat stem sawfly causing $30-40 million in damages annually in Colorado, we needed to find a hard white variety that would keep growers involved in this program. Windom SF will do that.”

Windom SF is named after Windom Peak, a Colorado fourteener (a mountain peak with an elevation of at least 14,000 feet) in the spirit of Snowmass and Antero, which preceded it. Windom SF will be marketed as a certified seed only variety, with no saved seed allowed. A full supply of certified seed will be available in fall of 2024. Windom SF was developed by the Wheat Breeding and Genetics Program at Colorado State University. Through a long-standing partnership between CSU and CWRF, ownership has been transferred to CWRF, which markets the varieties under its PlainsGold brand.



Winter wheat farmers can find more information on PlainsGold, including a list of all seed growers, on http://www.PlainsGold.com, or by contacting the PlainsGold office at (970) 449-6994.

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