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WSU partners with industry to market new wheat variety

By Kate Wilhite, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University will join forces with AgriPro, a division of Syngenta Cereals, to market a new variety of hard white spring wheat known as Dayn.

AgriPro will market and license Dayn outside the state of Washington. Within Washington, registered seed dealers can license the variety directly from WSU.

“Working with AgriPro offers us a fantastic opportunity to expand our capacity for high-quality hard white wheat production in the Pacific Northwest,” said Kim Kidwell, former WSU spring wheat breeder and developer of the variety.


Dayn’s many outstanding attributes include a high resistance to stripe rust, excellent grain quality for food production and superior yields in irrigated areas like southern Idaho, according to Michael Pumphrey, WSU spring wheat breeder.

The agreement with AgriPro is part of a more aggressive approach by WSU to protect and market its wheat and barley varieties. Increasing competition coupled with the desire to breed varieties with superior end-use quality that adapt to the diverse climates of the Pacific Northwest drove the strategy.

“When opportunities exist to partner and market varieties outside of Washington, we will explore agreements like this on a case-by-case basis,” said Jim Moyer, associate dean of research in the WSU College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences. “We took a Washington-first approach in which the needs of Washington wheat growers and seed dealers were met before going outside the area.”

Washington growers helped support development of Dayn through assessment dollars administered by the Washington Grain Commission. Royalties collected from sale of the variety outside the state will be reinvested in the WSU breeding program to develop new wheat varieties for Washington growers, Moyer said.

“This agreement follows Syngenta Cereals’ strategy of collaborating with valuable partners to help improve cereals and get the best genetics to the producers of the Pacific Northwest,” said Paul Morano, head of key account management for Syngenta-GreenLeaf. “We look forward to a strong partnership as we move into the next era of cereal advancements.”

For Kidwell, the goal was to develop a hard white variety that had the agronomic attributes and pest resistance to make it a low risk, high-profit option for farmers.

“We also wanted the milling and baking qualities of grain from the variety to be highly desirable to the food industry,” she said. Dayn and other hard white wheats are used to make products like breads, hard rolls and tortillas.

“Dayn is a win-win from the perspective of farmers and end users,” she said.

To learn more about Dayn, visit

James Moyer, WSU Agricultural Research Center, 509-335-4563,
Kate Wilhite, WSU CAHNRS Communications, 509-335-8164,