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PNW CONSERVATION TILLAGE HANDBOOK SERIES
Chapter 8- Crops and Varieties, No. 3, Winter 1987


Oveson - New Soft White Winter Wheat

Don Wysocki

Charles Rohde, STEEP researcher and wheat breeder at Oregon State University's Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center at Pendleton, has released a new soft white winter wheat. The new variety has been named ''Oveson" in honor of Merrill Oveson, Superintendent of the Pendleton Experiment Station from 1948-66. The variety was developed under the supervision of Rohde with cooperative assistance from research assistants Wesley Locke, Debora Nason, Chuck Crampton and Kathleen Van Wagoner.

According to Rohde, Oveson is a semi-dwarf, moderately stiff-strawed, soft white winter wheat. It was developed from crosses of Hyslop, Yayla, Cerco and a numbered Washington variety. The final cross was made in 1976 at Pendleton. About one-half acre was devoted to the production of breeder seed at Pendleton in 1986.

Rohde explains that his reason for releasing the new variety is to provide growers with another choice in cultivars. Currently a very high percentage of the winter wheat acreage in eastern Oregon is seeded to Stephens. Rohde feels that growers are in a potentially vulnerable position because a disease could cause widespread losses if Stephens were susceptible. This occurred when Omar was the dominant variety and stripe rust became a serious disease. By providing growers with another variety Rohde feels the risk of widespread losses resulting from a disease outbreak can be reduced.

You can judge the performance of Oveson in comparison to other widely used varieties from the following information. Keep in mind that Oveson, just like other varieties, will be best suited for a certain set of climatic, environmental and soil conditions. If your conditions are similar to those under which Oveson has been tested and you like the way it has performed, this variety may be an option for you.

Grain Yield

Rohde and co-workers have tested Oveson in comparison to Stephens, Hill 81 and Daws in northeastern Oregon in 1981-85. These trials were separated into three yield categories: (1) low yielding (less than 15-inch precipitation), (2) high yielding (more than 15-inch precipitation and more than 4-foot soil depth) and (3) irrigated. Under each of these conditions Oveson yielded equal to or slightly higher than the other varieties (Table 1).

Test Weight

Similar trials conducted to compare test weights between these four varieties showed that Oveson produced comparable or slightly greater weights than the other varieties (Table 2).

Table 1. Yield comparisons of four winter wheat cultivars in northeastern Oregon, 1981-85 (Rohde, OSU, Pendleton).

Locations Number of trials Stephens Hill 81 Daws Oveson
  (bu/acre)
Low Yielding Trials
Moro 5 62 55 60 56
Pilot rock 5 49 44 43 46
Echo 5 39 37 35 40
Lexington 5 52 45 45 49
Heppner 4 53 43 45 49
Arlington 4 49 45 46 47
Condon 4 38 35 37 35
Average 32 49 44 45 46
High Yielding Trials
Pendleton 5 82 79 78 86
Weston 4 92 88 84 97
Holdman 4 62 57 58 64
LaGrande 4 79 80 70 80
Flora 4 61 66 58 60
Average 21 80 78 73 82
Irrigated Trials
Pendleton 4 69 103 91 98
Hermiston 3 99 95 85 104
Summerville 3 63 65 63 66
Baker 1 57 64 54 86
Average 11 84 87 78 90

 

Table 2. Test weight comparisons of four winter wheat cultivars in northeastern Oregon (Rohde, OSU, Pendleton).

Year Number of trials Stephens Hill 81 Daws Oveson
  (lb/bu)
Low Yielding Trials
1981 5 60 60 60 59
1982 5 59 61 60 60
1983 6 58 58 58 59
1984 5 59 60 60 60
1985 1 57 57 58 59
Average 22 59 59 59 60
High Yielding Trials
1981 7 60 60 60 59
1982 6 59 60 59 59
1983 8 60 60 61 60
1984 7 59 60 57 59
1985 2 59 61 61 57
Average 30 59 60 59 60
Irrigated Trials
1981 1 59 59 61 59
1982 3 59 60 60 58
1983 3 56 57 56 58
1984 3 56 58 56 57
1985 1 54 56 57 55
Average 11 57 58 58 58

 

Table 3. Comparisons of average plant height, heading date, protein content, seed size and tilling capacity of four winter wheat cultivars In northeastern Oregon (Rohde, OSU, Pendleton).

Cultivar Plant Height

(inches)

Heading Date Protein Content

(%)

Seed Size

(g/100)

Tillers1/ft
Low Yield Trials
  1981-1985 1981-1985 1981-1985 1982,83,85 -
Stephens 34 June 5 8.3 4.1 -
Hill 81 36 June 9 8.3 3.6 -
Daws 34 June 7 8.2 3.9 -
Oveson 36 June 10 8.2 3.8 -
High Yield Trials
  1981-1985 1982-1985 1981-1985 1981-2,84-5 1981-1985
Stephens 29 June 8 9.9 4.6 40
Hill 81 31 June 10 10.1 3.5 36
Daws 29 June 12 9.9 3.9 41
Oveson 31 June 13 9.5 4.2 45
Irrigated Trials
  1981-1985 1982,1985 1982,1985 1982,1985 1982,1985
Stephens 32 May 31 10.3 4.0 48
Hill 81 36 June 2 10.3 3.5 46
Daws 33 June 1 10.2 3.6 55
Oveson 35 June 4 9.7 4.1 63

lAll plots received an equivalent number of seeds. Assuming an equal degree of seed viability and emergence for all varieties, tillers per foot is a measure of the ability to tiller.

Table 4. Comparison of disease resistance in Stephens and Oveson winter wheats (Rohde, OSU, Pendleton).

Disease Degree of resistance1
Stephens Oveson
Stripe rust R R
Leaf rust R S
Stem rust S S
Pseudocercosporella foot rot MR MS
Cephalosporium stripe S MS
Common bunt MR MR

1 R = resistant; MR = moderately resistant; MS = moderately susceptible; S = susceptible.

Plant Height

A factor that may be important in making a decision about Oveson is its height. The plant height of Oveson is equal to that of Hill 81 and 2 to 3 inches taller than Stephens or Daws (Table 3). This could be particularly important where lodging may be a problem.

Heading Date and Maturity

The heading date and consequently the date of maturity of Oveson is 4 to 5 days later than Stephens and 1 to 3 days later than Hill 81 and Daws (Table 3). This may bean important consideration if date of maturity is a critical factor.

Protein Content, Seed Size and Tillering

Differences in protein content, seed size and tillering were also observed between the cultivars (Table 3). The protein content of Oveson was slightly lower than that of Stephens or Hill 81. Oveson's seed size was between that of Stephens and Hill 81, except under irrigation, where it tended to be heavier than Stephens. Oveson tillered more vigorously than the other varieties.

Disease Resistance

The resistance of Oveson wheat to diseases is slightly different than that of Stephens (Table 4). Oveson appears to be more resistant to Cephulosporium stripe and more susceptible to leaf rust. It is important to realize that the ratings in Table 4 are subjective and do not reveal quantitative information about the nature of the resistance in the two cultivars.

Winter Hardiness

According to Rohde, the winter hardiness of Oveson is similar to that of Stephens. He recommends that it not be used where extreme cold tolerance is required.

Summary

Oveson wheat is a soft white winter variety adapted to areas of eastern Oregon that are not extremely cold or droughty. It has yielded comparable to Stephens in trials on the Columbia Plateau of eastern Oregon. It has similar test weight, protein content, seed size and tillering ability to other commonly planted varieties. It is slightly taller than Stephens and matures slightly later. It is resistant to stripe rust and moderately tolerant to Cephalosporium stripe. Limited quantities of seed are available from the Oregon Foundation Seed and Plant Materials Project.

     
 

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