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  • By Lynda Kiernan

OSU Releases Drought Resistant Wheat Variety

Years of drought have made for a difficult situation for farmers across Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State University (OSU) has released “Bentley” – a variety of drought resistant wheat that is being called the highest yielding of its kind. Bentley can not only withstand, but thrive in the face of challenging weather conditions and later-winter freezes while producing yields that are 10% to 15% higher than standard varieties.

Brett Carver, regents professor and wheat breeder with Oklahoma State University, and his research team are working to develop wheat varieties that will succeed particularly well in Oklahoma – a process that can take a decade or more. The University has released “Bentley” – a variety of drought resistant wheat that is being called the highest yielding of its kind. Bentley can not only withstand, but thrive in the face of challenging weather conditions and later-winter freezes while producing yields that are 10% to 15% higher than standard varieties. Using traditional cross-breeding techniques, Bentley is the product of 50,000 combinations of crosses repeatedly sewn for multiple years.

The drought and resulting wheat shortage has had a wider economic impact within the state beyond crop farmers – the loss of feed has negatively affected the state’s livestock industry, and the wheat shortage has also hit the locally-produced bread and bakery industry.

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Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at lkiernan@highquestgroup.com.

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