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SKAGIT 1109 Hard Red Winter Wheat

WSU Breadlab is pleased to announce the release to the public of SKAGIT 1109 hard red winter wheat. This is the first wheat developed specifically for the maritime climate of the coastal Pacific Northwest. It combines excellent yield potential, disease resistance, and end-use quality with a unique flavor profile in whole wheat uses. Skagit 1109 was developed through bulk breeding which allows for natural selection to drive the composition of the population to the most desirable types for a specific environment. It is considered a modern landrace that will continue to evolve in the field. This is the first known released variety that was developed specifically for whole wheat uses. It is unique in that it has never been evaluated as white flour.

The goal of the Plant Breeding program at WSU Breadlab is to add to the long-term environmental and economic health of farming in western Washington while producing a food crop that is safe and high in nutritional value. The complexities of farming systems in western Washington are acknowledged and nonreductionist approaches are favored.

Areas of graduate student research include breeding for traditional and organic farming systems, farmer participatory breeding, converting wheat to a perennial crop, evolution of wheat species, increased water and nitrogen-use efficiencies of crop plants and non-GMO use of wild species for crop improvement. Tools involve classical genetics, cytogenetics, marker technologies and innovative breeding strategies.

Farmers work closely with breeders to help set research priorities, and in some cases, farmers are developing their own varieties that will be uniquely adapted to their farming system.