Until Nov. 24, it was simply known as TX02A0252, one of hundreds of wheat varieties being tested in regional field trials throughout Texas for the past five years. On Nov. 24, it became TAM 113, the latest in a long line of Texas AgriLife Research wheat variety releases, according to Jackie Rudd, an AgriLife Research wheat breeder in Amarillo. The line should be available on a wide basis for 2012 and 2013. Growers from South Dakota to Texas should benefit.

A wheat variety can only take on the TAM moniker after being reviewed by scientists both within and outside the Texas A&M University system, and TAM 113 has been approved for release by AgriLife Research officials, Rudd says. The announcement of the variety’s release opens it up to be marketed by private industry, as AgriLife Research is in the business of developing new varieties but is not a commercial seed company, says Steve Brown, Texas Foundation Seed Service (TFSS) program director in Vernon.

Brown says TFSS’s role is to take the product from the research program and expand the seed to a large enough quantity to make it available to a commercial seed company.

Currently, a TFSS grower has80 acres of TAM 113 seed planted for the first foundation increase. “While that crop is growing, we’ve sent out a request for proposals to parties who have indicated an interest in licensing the variety,” Brown says. 

TAM 113 has been submitted to the State Seed and Plant Board for consideration and acceptance into the Seed Certification Program operated by the Texas Department of Agriculture and has been submitted for plant variety protection, which is similar to a patent, Brown says.

The license packet will include a protected variety that has to be produced in the certification program and the right to produce and sell that seed. It is typical, then, for the licensee to sub-license that variety throughout the area of adaptation to other seed companies who would then produce TAM 113 and sell to producers in their area.

“For the producer, TAM 113 will probably be available on a broad basis in 2012 and 2013,” Brown says.

It takes any new variety approximately 12-15 years to make it from the initial cross through the selection, testing and purification process before it can be considered a possible release, Rudd says. The TAM 113 cross was made in 1995, with the final selection made in Amarillo by Rudd in 2002. The cross includes TAM 105, TAM 200 and TAM 202, as well as experimental germplasm.

Along the way, it was recognized for its High Plains’ adaptation, yield and exceptional bread-baking quality under both dryland and irrigated trials. Further testing indicated superior disease resistance, which moved it from one of thousands of experimental lines to one of five that were tested in Great Plains’ regional trials, Rudd says.

This means it demonstrated growing ability through the hard-winter wheat area from Texas to South Dakota. While the final recommendation for its growth is for Texas, Rudd says that does not mean it will not thrive in similar wheat-growing areas in other states.

 “For instance, TAM 111 was also released for this region and is currently the No. 1 variety in Texas, but it is also No. 2 in Kansas, No. 3 in Colorado and No. 4 in Nebraska,” he says.

For more, go to http://agrilife.org/today/2010/12/22/new-wheat-variety/