New Wheat Variety Developed at Colorado State University Displays Exceptional Resilience to Drought Conditions

A new high-yielding and high-quality variety of winter wheat developed by the Colorado State University Agricultural Experiment Station has been released to seed producers in Colorado. The new variety is very tolerant of stresses such as drought and high temperature and has shown as much as 10 percent greater yields than varieties currently in production. It has taken 10 years to develop this new wheat variety, which will be available to seed growers by this fall.

The new variety, dubbed Ripper (slang for "top-notch") by Colorado State wheat breeder Scott Haley, is a hard red winter wheat. In addition to its high yield and yield stability, it has excellent milling and bread-baking properties. Ripper will be an excellent replacement for other varieties in Colorado, particularly TAM 107 and Prairie Red, which tend to perform better in dry years yet have a penalty due to their poor milling and baking quality.

"Ripper has consistently been a top performer in dryland trials conducted in fields in Eastern Colorado, and its excellent quality should also help improve our marketing situation," Haley said. "Its drought resistance comes from having a relatively conservative growth pattern in the fall, and it tillers very well in the spring and fills the grain exceptionally fast compared to other common varieties."

The drought and high temperature stress tolerance of Ripper will be a benefit to farmers facing an uncertain water outlook, Haley said.

In an agreement between Colorado State, the Colorado Wheat Research Foundation, or CWRF, and the Colorado Seed Growers Association, ownership and marketing rights of Ripper will be offered to the CWRF. Ripper may be grown and sold only as a class of certified seed by Colorado Seed Growers Association members licensed by the Colorado Wheat Research Foundation. The foundation will obtain a certificate of plant variety protection for these new varieties under the federal Plant Variety Protection Act. Royalties paid to the foundation by certified seed growers from the sale of these varieties is returned to Colorado State University to support continued research and variety development.