WSU releases new variety of wheat

From staff reports

WSU has released a new winter wheat variety called “Jasper,” named after William Jasper Spillman, the founder of the university’s wheat breeding program in 1894, according to a WSU News release. More than a century after it developed its first variety in 1905, Jasper marks the 100th variety of wheat crop.

Seed from the new variety was first planted last fall and, after dealers planted it this year to produce certified seed, will be available to farmers next fall. Arron Carter, leader of the breeding program, developed the variety, according to the release.

He said Jasper has good resistance and quality, as well as high yield potential, according to the release. Additionally, he said, it can be adapted to a wide range of environments and rainfall conditions. Specifically, it was developed for 12-18 inch precipitation zones.

Carter cited in the release the influence of generations of wheat breeders, including Spillman, on the new variety. He said it is because of their work that the wheat is so well adapted to the Pacific Northwest.

Reporting by Cody Cottier