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New Crop Varieties on Display at Spillman Field Day

PULLMAN, Wash. — State and federal researchers will show off new varieties of wheat, dry peas, lentils, chickpeas and barley at the annual field day of Washington State University’s Spillman Agronomy Farm on Thursday, July 10.

Steve Ulrich, WSU barley breeder, will discuss two new spring varieties released in 1997: Bear, a two-row, spring hulless type, and Washford, a six-row, hooded hay type.

Fred Muehlbauer, who heads the USDA-ARS Grain Legume Genetics and Physiology Research Unit, will discuss three new varieties of dry peas released this month, and new lentil and chickpea variety.

Joel, a green dry pea, resists powdery mildew and produces greater yields than current varieties. Joel also retains a dark green color after cooking.

Fallon and Shawnee, are higher yielding yellow dry peas that also produce a better color in cooking than commonly grown varieties.

Muehlbauer also will discuss Mason, a new higher-yielding yellow cotyledon lentil, and Evans, an earlier maturing large-seeded kabuli-type chickpea.

Steve Jones, WSU winter wheat breeder, will discuss development and testing of the first wheat line in the world with true Cephalosporium resistance. Cephalosporium is a fungal disease.

He also will talk about research with perennial wheat which could help growers protect highly erodible land.

Diter von Wettstien, the R.A. Nilan Distinguished Professor in Barley Research and Education at WSU, will show a field trial of about 20,000 transgenic barley plants that contain a heat stable beta-gluconase which improves malting yields and helps prevent beer cloudiness.

Kim Kidwell, WSU spring wheat breeder, will discuss research on hard, white spring wheats and the potential of developing high-yielding hybrid spring wheats through spring and winter wheat crosses.

Jim Anderson, USDA-ARS club wheat breeder, will discuss his research priorities, new wheat breeding locations and the incorporation of club germplasm from Oregon into the ARS breeding program.

Lynne Carpenter-Boggs, a WSU graduate student, will show trials using compost and biodynamic field sprays. The trials are designed to determine the impact of compost and biodynamic preparations on soil health and crop development.

Biodynamic agriculture is a form of sustainable agriculture that makes use of composts, manures and special preparations to improve soil health.

Registration for the field day begins at 8 a.m.; plot tours at 9 a.m. Robert Allan, former USDA-ARS wheat breeder, will be the featured speaker at a 12:30 p.m. lunch. Allan retired in 1996 after 40 years service with the ARS.

Spillman farm is located on Johnson Road southeast of Pullman. The event is free and open to the public.

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