The goal of this project is to develop new spring wheat varieties that are suited for organic management in Northeast soils and climatic conditions. Most commercially available varieties are developed in regions with climates, soils, and management techniques that are very different from northern New England. These modern varieties are also genetically homogenous and inbred for uniformity, sometimes resulting in rapid breakdown of genetic resistance to local diseases.
Eight crosses were developed by Dr. Stephen Jones of Washington State University, including crosses of two varieties bred by famed Vermont botanist and wheat breeder, Cyrus Pringle. Of these varieties, a number of crosses were made that have been grown out on farms with varying soils and climates for several years. Farmers have continued to grow the crosses, select the best-looking plants, and capture the genetic diversity from the populations.
Vermont, University of Vermont, spring wheat crosses
Darby, Heather; Emick, Hillary; Jean, Haley; Krezinski, Ivy; and Malone, Rory, "Spring Wheat Crosses Trial" (2019). Northwest Crops & Soils Program. 365.