Since many Montana producers have the perfect climate to grow winter wheat, they are always looking for good varieties with protection against the sawfly and tough weeds.
Nutrien Ag Solutions has been devoting research to finding the best winter wheat varieties for growers across the state.
Two of the varieties, StandClear CLP and LCS Fusion AX, are good opportunities for Montana growers.
Clearfield and CoAXium trait technologies, which are used in-crop with specific herbicides to tackle tough weeds, have been licensed to Nutrien to use in their wheat varieties.
StandClear CLP, a hard red winter wheat that can be a choice in sawfly areas, was developed by the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station and exclusively licensed to Nutrien Ag Solutions.
“It’s exciting for us, and we have seed production. We will be offering StandClear CLP for certified seed at all the seed plants this fall,” said Dale Clark, plant breeder and research director of Nutrien Ag Solutions’ research facility.
StandClear CLP is a two-gene Clearfield. It is a semi-solid stem wheat intended for use with the selective imidazolinone (IMI) herbicide Imazamox. It has two genes for tolerance, which serves to enhance both crop safety and weed control.
For those who have grassy weed problems and tough weeds, such as cheatgrass, StandClear CLP is a “good option for them,” Clark said.
None of the semi-solid stems stood perfectly upright, but StandClear came close.
“It is not as solid of a stem as Warhorse, but it has good standabililty. That is why it was named it ‘StandClear’ because it stands, especially when compared to other semi-solid stems,” he said. “It has pretty good tolerance to the wheat stem sawfly.”
In Nutrien’s plots at Fort Benton, they tested semi solid stems with the sawfly.
Clark saw good results with StandClear. It was standing while other partial solid-stem varieties had fallen over due to the sawfly.
They measure for solidness in stems by checking the internodes of the stem and each solid node is worth 5 points on the scale, with 25 being the highest rating for a solid-stem.
“StandClear is about a 19, while Warhorse is 25,” he said.
StandClear CLP also has a good disease package.
“The agronomics are very good,” he said. Milling and baking quality is good, too.
Clark talked about the two-gene Clearfield in StandClear, which helps with crop safety and weed control against tough, grassy weeds.
Wheat has three different genomes. For every gene in the plant, there are three copies.
The original Clearfield varieties were only one copy of the wheat genome, which left two uncovered.
“If you had extreme weather conditions, such as very hot, and you wanted to spray, the plant couldn’t assimilate that chemical and you saw some damage,” Clark said. “If you have a two-gene Clearfield, it is double the coverage.”
With two-gene Clearfield, a producer can spray in the fall to control those tough weeds, such as feral rye and cheatgrass, better than a spring application. Then he could spray again in the spring to control any new emerging weeds.
StandClear CLP was tested under the experimental number MTCS1601 from 2016-19 in Montana for field performance, herbicide tolerance, and end-use quality.
“StandClear CLP has really good agronomics, and it is high-yielding for a partial solid stem,” Clark said
Another great option for Montana producers with tough grassy weeds is LCS Fusion AX, a hard red winter wheat.
The CoAXium production system was developed to provide farmers with an additional option to control tough grassy annual and perennial weeds in wheat.
“LCS Fusion AX is tolerant to Aggressor herbicide, which is a different mode of action,” said Ryan Holt, division seed manager for Nutrien Ag. “It helps get rid of all these tough grassy weeds like cheatgrass, goat grass, and rye, all without killing the wheat.”
LCS Fusion has performed “extremely well” in Montana for this new technology.
“It was the first CoAXium wheat in Montana,” he said. “LCS Fusion has been selling well, and is by far the most popular CoAXium wheat.”
CoAXium is a different mode of action than the Clearfield wheat, so it helps prevent resistant weeds, yet controls grassy weeds.
In addition, CoAXium does not leave a residual like other herbicides can.
“With the CoAXium system, there are fewer plant back and rotational restrictions, opening up crop rotation opportunities,” Holt said.
Clark recommended producers follow the label on amounts to apply.
This information is a general description about a class of chemicals and is not intended to be comprehensive or complete. For more information on these winter wheat varieties, see Montana Nutrien Ag Solutions at https://www.northernseedllc.com or call their Great Falls office at 406.453.3227.