Joe: New hard white wheat variety from K-State

A new K-State variety producers will see this year in the K-State Winter Wheat Performance Tests and at various wheat field days and tours is “Joe.” This hard white wheat variety was named after Joe Martin, retired wheat breeder from K-State’s Agricultural Research Center-Hays.

Figure 1. New K-State hard white winter wheat variety Joe. Photo by Bryson Haverkamp, Kansas Wheat Alliance.


The experimental number of Joe was KS11HW39-5-4. Joe was selected from a two-way cross of “KS04HW10-3/KS04HW119-3.” In the pedigree, both KS04HW101-3 and KS04HW119-3 are hard white experimental lines developed by the K-State wheat breeding program at Hays. KS04HW101-3 had Jagger and Arlin in its pedigree while KS04HW119-3 was derived from a backcross of “Trego*2/CO960293”.

Joe has performed very well in western Kansas and has a significant increase in yield potential over currently grown varieties. Averaged over three years (2013 to 2015) of dryland testing across western Kansas, yields of this line were about 16% higher than Danby and about 33% higher than TAM 111 (Danby and TAM 111 are two of the most adapted hard white and hard red wheat varieties, respectively, in western Kansas). In the 2015 Kansas Wheat Performance Test, the average yield of Joe ranked No. 1 across dryland testing sites in western Kansas and was at least 5% higher than all other varieties in the trials. Joe has also been tested under irrigation in Colby, Kansas, for the last three years. Yields averaged 103.7 bu/acre, which was about 19% higher than Danby and 27% higher than TAM 111. 

Joe has very good resistance to the three most important diseases in western Kansas: wheat streak mosaic virus, stripe rust, and leaf rust. It carries the WSM2 gene for wheat streak mosaic virus resistance. Field testing showed that Joe has very good resistance to both the 2010 and 2012 races of stripe rust. It is moderately susceptible to soilborne mosaic virus and is susceptible to Hessian fly.

In general, Joe has better white and whole flour baking quality than Danby. Its milling quality is comparable to Danby. It has good test weight (about 61 lb/bushel).

Joe is medium late and medium tall. It has good straw strength and good tolerance to grain shattering. It is moderately susceptible to pre-harvest sprouting. 


Guorong Zhang, Wheat Breeder, KSU Agricultural Research Center-Hays