Genetic improvement trends in agronomic performances and end-use quality characteristics among hard red winter wheat cultivars in Nebraska

H. Fufa, P. Stephen Baenziger, B. S. Beecher, R. A. Graybosch, K. M. Eskridge, L. A. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Evaluation of wheat cultivars from different eras allows breeders to determine changes in agronomic and end-use quality characteristics associated with grain yield and end-use quality improvement over time. The objective of this research was to examine the trends in agronomic and end-use quality characteristics of hard red winter wheat cultivars grown in Nebraska. Thirty historically important and popular hard red winter wheat cultivars introduced or released between 1874 and 2000 were evaluated at Lincoln, Mead and North Platte, Nebraska in 2002 and 2003. An alpha lattice design with 15 incomplete blocks of two plots and three replications was used at all locations. Agronomic (days to flowering, plant height, spike length, culm length, grain yield and yield components, and grain volume weight) and end-use quality (flour yield, SDS-sedimentation value, flour protein content, and mixograph time and tolerance) traits were measured in each environment. Highly significant differences were observed among environments, genotypes and their interactions for most agronomic and end-use quality characteristics. Unlike modern cultivars, older cultivars were low yielding, and less responsive to favorable environments for grain yield and yield components. Semidwarf cultivars were more stable for plant height than traditional medium to tall cultivars. All cultivars had high grain volume weight since it is part of the grading system and highly selected for in cultivar release. Modern cultivars were less stable than older cultivars for SDS-sedimentation and mixing tolerance. However, the stability of older cultivars was attributed to their having weak mixing tolerance and reduced SDS-sedimentation values. The reduced protein content of modern cultivars was offset by increased functionality, as measured by mixograph and SDS sedimentation. In conclusion, breeders have tailored agronomic and end-use quality traits essential for hard red winter wheat production and marketing in Nebraska.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-198
Number of pages12
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Bread wheat
  • GXE
  • Genetic gain
  • Grain yield
  • Triticum aestivum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture

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