PlainsGold® will market Amplify SF in 2021, a new hard red winter wheat variety that was developed to help wheat growers combat the wheat stem sawfly. Amplify SF carries a stem-solidness trait that helps defend against the wheat stem sawfly, an insect that has alarmed the wheat industry in the High Plains as it spreads and increases in severity.
“Amplify SF is the second variety to be released from our program that carries a gene that confers stem solidness,” said CSU Wheat Breeder Dr. Esten Mason, whose team developed the variety. “Stem solidness is rated on a 5-25 scale, where 5 is completely hollow, and 25 is completely solid. Higher levels of solidness tend to make it more difficult for the wheat stem sawfly larvae to chew its way down to the base of the stem and cut the stem just prior to harvest. We see lower levels of cutting in varieties with higher levels of stem solidness. Amplify SF is rated at 16.5 for solidness, which is about 4 points higher than Fortify SF, and 10-11 points higher than a typical hollow-stemmed variety.”
Amplify SF, in addition to its stem solidness, is a medium-maturity variety with very good test weight. Maturity is an important factor, since many of the previous varieties used to combat this pest have come from Montana-based breeding programs, where maturity tends to run too late for what is ideal in Colorado.
“The wheat stem sawfly is estimated to cause $30 million in damages annually in Colorado,” said Brad Erker, Executive Director of the Colorado Wheat Research Foundation (CWRF). “Wheat is a vital component of our dryland cropping rotations, so we need to do everything we can to keep wheat in the rotation.”
Amplify SF will be marketed as a certified seed only variety, with no saved seed allowed. A full supply of certified seed will be available in Fall of 2023, with a limited supply of certified seed available in Fall of 2022. Amplify SF was developed by the Wheat Breeding and Genetics Program at Colorado State University (CSU). Through a long-standing partnership between CSU and CWRF, ownership has been transferred to CWRF, which markets the varieties under its PlainsGold® brand.
Winter wheat farmers can find more information on PlainsGold®, including a list of all seed growers, on www.PlainsGold.com, or by contacting the PlainsGold® office at (970) 449-6994.