Wheat varieties used in Michigan

A grower survey reveals that Michigan growers employ dozens of different varieties of winter wheat.

A state-wide survey has provided a reliable ranking of wheat varieties grown in Michigan. In March of 2011, farm operators were mailed a survey regarding their wheat production. Of the completed questionnaires, 1,708 were able to be used for summarization and analyses.

Growers were asked to list the varieties, along with acreages, planted during the fall of 2010. Based on the responses, 60.7 percent of Michigan’s wheat acreage was soft red winter wheat and 39.1 percent was soft white winter wheat. Growers were not asked to specify whether their seed source was certified or “bin-run.”

In total, growers listed 30 separate soft red winter wheat varieties. Those soft red winter varieties comprising at least 1 percent of the total soft red winter acreage are provided in Table 1. It is interesting to note that Hopewell, a 15-year old variety, is still grown on over a third of Michigan’s soft red winter acres. When the Hopewell acres are combined with the second leading variety (Pioneer 25R47), nearly half of the soft red winter crop is represented.

Table 1. Varieties and acreages of soft red winter (SRW) wheat, Michigan, 2011

SRW Varieties SRW acres # SRW acres %
Hopewell
Pioneer 25R47
137,000
74,200
32.2%
17.5%
Red Ruby
Pioneer 25R56
47,300
24,000
11.1%
5.6%
Pioneer 25R62
DR-R045
13,700
12,800
3.2%
3.0%
Pioneer 25R39
Pioneer 25R78
10,000
8,900
2.4%
2.0%
Sunburst
Butch
8,430
6,070
1.4%
1.2%
DF-R075
Roane
5,240
5,120
1.2%
1.1%
Branson 4,630 1.1%

Only includes those varieties with more than 1 percent of acreage.

Growers of soft white winter wheat listed 18 different varieties. As shown in Table 2, the 2011 soft white winter acreage was dominated by Pioneer 25W43, Ambassador, AC Mountain, Pioneer 25W36 and Caledonia. While Pioneer 25W43, Ambassador and Pioneer 25W36 were made available within the past five years, Caledonia and AC Mountain have been grown for over 10 years.

Table 2. Varieties and acreages of soft white winter (SWW) wheat, Michigan, 2011

SWW Varieties SRW acres # SRW acres %
Pioneer 25W43
Ambassador
41,000
35,700
15.1%
13.1%
AC Mountain
Pioneer 25W36
30,300
26,500
11.1%
9.7%
Caledonia
Aubrey
23,700
21,100
8.7%
7.8%
MSU D8006
Crystal
13,700
12,400
5.0%
4.6%
Syngenta W1062
Coral
11,300
11,300
4.2%
4.2%
Hyland Ava
MSU D6234
9,930
4,210
3.7%
1.5%

Only includes those varieties with more than 1 percent of acreage.

This data will be of interest to all segments of the wheat industry. From an extension and research perspective, the data are helpful in profiling the state’s crop relative to disease vulnerability, popularity of agronomic traits, and the rate of adoption of new varieties.

The survey was a joint activity of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, MSU Extension and AgBioResearch.

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