Our Focus for Wheat Breeding:
The limiting factor for organic wheat production in the Southeast is Italian ryegrass. Once this non-native weed becomes well established in an organic field, wheat must be removed from the rotation. One of the most promising solutions to this problem has been developed by researchers in Australia, where protocols have been developed that could be used for selecting allelopathic wheat lines active against ryegrass. Allelopathic wheat lines exude chemicals from their roots that prevent the germination and growth of weeds. Breeding programs in which herbicides are used as part of the system would not allow for identification and selection of such a trait.

Needs Identified By Farmers:

  • Ryegrass Resistance. There are no organic options for resistance to ryegrass infestation.

Breeding Solutions:

  • Dr. Paul Murphy, small grains breeder at NCSU, has begun screening protocol development to discover wheat genotypes that are more competitive both above and below ground. Screening tactics such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), overhead imaging, and visual ratings will be tested for correlation with actual weed biomass suppression. The best tactic will be utilized by breeders to select and advance weed-competitive wheat genotypes.

Please send us your thoughts or suggestions! Email your comments to: [email protected]

Final OVT Wheat Results
Includes yields and rye suppression rankings. Click the image to zoom in.

To view the full results of the BOPS organic wheat variety trials for 2012-13, click here.

BOPS is currently testing the following organic wheat varieties:
NC Neuse
NC Cape Fear
NC Yadkin
SS 520
SY 9978
SY Harrison
AgriMaxx 415
AgriMaxx 413
GA 031086-10E26
GA 04570-10E46
GA 031257-10LE34
USG 3251
USG 3523
USG 3555
USG 3201
USG 3438
VA 06W-412
VA 08W-294
SS 8641
SS 8700
SS 8302
SS 8308
SS 8340
SS 8500
SS 5205

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