One of the most important decisions growers make in growing wheat is choosing the right variety or varieties to plant.
Many differences exist among the varieties and, therefore, it is important to assess what characteristics are most important for their production area.
Growers should choose several varieties to plant to reduce risk and improve their chances of success every season.
The following information is provided to understand the differences in each of the varieties that are recommended in Georgia.
AgSouth Genetics (AGS):
AGS 2060 is one of a handful of early maturing varieties with excellent yield potential. It has very good leaf and stripe rust resistance and very good Hessian fly resistance and test weight but is susceptible to powdery mildew. It has a short vernalization requirement and matures earlier than AGS 2000 or 2031. It will lodge with high N rates.
AGS 2026 is marketed by AGS and is recommended statewide. While this variety has slightly less straw strength than AGS 2020, it is an excellent variety with very good disease resistance and Hessian fly resistance and excellent yield. In addition, it is one of a very few varieties with Biotype L Hessian fly resistance. It has good soil borne mosaic virus resistance. This variety requires more vernalization than AGS 2000.
AGS 2035 is a variety that was developed by the University of Georgia and has good leaf and stripe rust resistance, good test weight and yield, moderate Hessian fly resistance but is susceptible to powdery mildew. It is medium maturing with good soil borne virus resistance.
UniSouth Genetics (USG):
USG 3555 yields similar to AGS lines. It has a larger vernalization requirement than most. It is
susceptible to leaf rust and hessian fly but has good yield and straw strength.
USG 3295 is equal in yield to AGS 2000. It is similar in maturity but has better disease resistance and unfortunately is susceptible to current biotypes of Hessian fly and therefore must be treated with an insecticide.
USG 3120 was developed by the University of Georgia and is sold by UniSouth Genetics. It has good resistance to Hessian fly and moderate resistance to leaf rust, stripe rust and powdery mildew. It has a short vernalization requirement, flowers early and has good test weight. It is susceptible to soil borne mosaic virus.
Pioneer 26R61 is considered one of two standard wheat varieties grown in Georgia. The other is AGS 2000. Pioneer 26R61 still has good resistance to stripe rust and soil borne mosaic virus but is susceptible to most other wheat diseases (mildew, leaf rust, glume blotch) and therefore responds well to a fungicide treatment. It has good yield and test weight. Currently, it is the only Pioneer line recommended for Georgia
Coker 9553 is a medium maturing variety with yield equal to Pioneer 26R61 and AGS 2000. It is slightly susceptible to leaf rust and glume blotch and therefore responds well to a fungicide. It is susceptible to Hessian fly and is recommended for north Georgia only. It is a good choice for grazing in north Georgia.
Magnolia is a variety that is well suited for north Georgia. It has good yield, test weight and straw strength but is susceptible to Hessian fly, leaf rust and powdery mildew but is resistant to stripe rust. It is recommended that an insecticide and fungicide be used with this variety.
Oglethorpe has above average yield in both north and south Georgia. It has good resistance to leaf and stripe rust but only fair tolerance to powdery mildew. This variety has Biotype L Hessian fly resistance. Care should be taken with nitrogen applications as it only has fair straw strength.
Baldwin is a UGA release that has good Hessian fly resistance, good leaf and stripe rust resistance, good yield, test weight and soil borne virus resistance. It is moderately resistant to powdery mildew. It is medium late in maturity with a moderate vernalization requirement.
Southern States Seeds:
Southern States (SS) 8641 is a good yielding wheat with excellent disease and Hessian fly resistance. It has good straw strength and test weight. It matures later than AGS 2000 and Pioneer 26R61 and should not be planted past the recommended planting window in Georgia.
SS 8308 has a very long vernalization requirement and is recommended for north Georgia only. Its pest resistance is fair to poor but performs well in north Georgia. Fungicides and at plant insecticides are recommended for use when planting this variety.
Fleming is the earliest maturing wheat in Georgia. It has very little vernalization requirement and, therefore, should be planted in the later 1⁄4 portion of the recommended planting period. In late plantings in Georgia (after recommended planting periods), Fleming provides some of the highest yields of all the varieties tested. Caution: Fleming has a physiological spotting that is easily mistaken for leaf disease. All lesions should be carefully examined to make sure a proper diagnosis is made when considering a fungicide.
Jamestown is a new variety with good yield but moderate susceptible to leaf rust, good resistance to powdery mildew and stripe rust. It is susceptible to Hessian fly. It is recommended that this variety be treated with an at-plant insecticide.
Roberts is one of the oldest public varieties still recommended however it is recommended for forage production only. It has good resistance to glume blotch but is susceptible to all other foliar diseases and requires a fungicide for adequate seed production. It is a late maturing variety that has a long vernalization requirement.
AGS 2000 is considered one of two standard wheat varieties grown in Georgia. The other is Pioneer 26R61. AGS 2000 requires the use of a fungicide to maximize yields. Although this variety is resistant to Hessian fly, AGS 2000 may respond to an insecticide since several new races of Hessian fly are prevalent.
AGS 2020 is approximately four days earlier than AGS 2000 and has good disease resistance, fair yield, test weight and straw strength. It also has very good soil borne mosaic virus resistance. AGS 2020 has only fair tolerance to Hessian fly and therefore should be treated with an at-plant insecticide.
USG 3209 has been sold in Georgia for several years. It demonstrates some susceptibility to certain biotypes of Hessian fly and therefore should be treated with an at-plant insecticide. It is an early maturing variety and well suited for the upper coastal plains. This variety responds well to a fungicide. It has very good yield if managed with pesticides.
Please be aware of all rules and regulations regarding certified seed and patented or PVP varieties.
Consider using varieties tagged with an official certification tag. Certified seed ensures the highest quality seed available with good germination and freedom from noxious weeds. Contact the Georgia Crop Improvement Association regarding any questions with certified seed at 706/542-2351
The University of Georgia Grain Crops web page can be found at the following url: http://www.caes.uga.edu/commodities/fieldcrops/gagrains/index.html.