Northern Seed, headquartered in Great Falls, Mont., has an exciting lineup of winter wheat varieties available to Montana producers. Depending on their environment and soil composition, Northern Seed offers Montana wheat growers several different varieties to choose from.

Brand new to this growing season is the variety West Bred 4792 (WB4792). A hard red winter wheat, WB4792 is out-yielding the variety Keldin in certain parts of Montana, averaging 110.1 bushels per acre in 2018. In addition to its high-yield potential, WB4792 is showing great western adaptation and is proving to have good disease resistance, especially when it comes to wheat streak mosaic virus and yellow (stripe) rust. It is a medium-to-late maturing variety with very good winter hardiness.

WB4792 was a limited release from Northern Seed last growing season, preforming excellently in test plots, so it was released fully for this growing season. Another encouraging aspect of this variety is the fact it can be irrigated, so it is not limited as a dryland crop.

“WB4792 is our new and exciting variety for the real high-potential ground out there,” said Eric Gray, seed specialist for Northern Seed.

The variety has shown to perform relatively well across the state, but was strongest in areas around Billings and Fort Benton. Gray notes that WB4792 really shouldn’t be grown along the highline of Montana, as it does require slightly more moisture then that area normally allows.

Gray went on to express excitement about another variety relatively new to Northern Seed’s winter wheat selection. The variety LCS Fusion AX (Fusion) is another one of Northern Seed’s featured varieties. This hard red winter wheat was the first CoAXium wheat variety in Montana.

Fusion contains the patented AXigen trait, so it has a 2-gene resistance to Aggressor brand herbicides, which controls grasses in CoAxium wheat.

“CoAxium is like the Clearfield winter wheat except you can spray Aggressor on it which is a group 1 instead of a group 2 herbicide like Beyond is,” Gray explained.

Fusion is a great option for producers who deal with grassy weeds, feral rye, jointed goatgrass and wild oats. Another great selling point for Fusion is the fact it is relatively drought resistance.

If you are in the market for a Clearfield variety, Northern Seed is featuring SY 517. This early maturing winter wheat variety boasts a good straw strength as well as good winter hardiness. SY 517 offers a good disease package and excellent yield potential in addition to having very good aluminum tolerance, so it is great for producers with a low pH problem.

With all of Northern Seed’s latest and greatest varieties on the market today, Gray wanted to point out that the variety Keldin is still a wonderful go-to choice for Montana growers. Across the board, Keldin has proven to be a broadly adapting variety. It offers very good disease resistance and is noted for its milling and baking qualities. Keldin is a hollow stem that is quick to emerge and dominated the field in terms of test weight. Gray did acknowledge that Keldin may require a bit more fertilizer then some producers are used to, but as a result, this variety is extremely high-yielding.

Gray went on to explain that Northern Seed is continuing to work with producers and their research center is on the cusp of releasing some new and cutting edge varieties.

“Northern Seed has been telling people we’ve got exciting things coming, but now with the research center we are only a couple years out from showing people some exciting stuff and it’s looking pretty promising,” stated Gray.