by Don Molino
for the Louisiana Soybean and Grain Research and Promotion Board
LSU AgCenter wheat and oat breeder Dr. Steve Harrison says it take a long time to develop a new wheat variety.
"To get from the initial stages of variety development, that is the point at which you cross the two parents," says Harrison. One new variety is LA 06146 "which has the parents of AGS 2060 which was one of our releases about ten years ago, which is still a pretty good variety, and the other parent which is a variety called Jamestown that came out of the Virginian Tech program."
"That cross was made in 2006 to create LA 06146, which means it was done in 2006, cross umber 146. So that variety has been in development for ten years which is typical. There are about ten generations from a time a cross is made until the active release point," Harrison pointed out.
Harrison and his team of researchers make about 400 wheat crosses each year "and if everything goes well, we'll release about one wheat variety a year."