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Wheat Breeding

Breeding varieties with strong agronomic factors and high quality end use traits is integral in maintaining North Dakota's reputation as a supplier of premium quality wheat to the world. North Dakota State University is home to three breeding programs: spring wheat, durum and winter wheat. The North Dakota Wheat Commission provides funding to each of these programs to strengthen their activities and progress.

2023 Annual Survey of Varieties Planted in North Dakota

Durum Breeding

The durum breeding program at NDSU is the largest public durum breeding program in the U.S. The leader of the program is Dr. Elias Elias with the assistance of technicians and graduate students. The ultimate goal of the program is to release improved durum cultivars that maximize the economic return to the producers with minimum input and provide excellent quality durum wheat to the pasta industry and the international export market. WestBred also has a durum breeding program for northern grown durum. Please use the links below for more information on the breeding programs and durum varieties.

Spring Wheat Breeding

Many of the spring wheat varieties planted in North Dakota are products of the spring wheat breeding program at NDSU. Under the direction of Dr. Andrew Green, the program strives to develop varieties that have a balance of strong agronomic traits and excellent end-use quality. While the main focus of the program is hard red spring wheat varieties, white wheat and specialty wheats such as herbicide resistance and solid stem (sawfly resistant) varieties are also of importance. 

Other major spring wheat breeding programs include:

University of Minnesota
South Dakota State University
Montana State University

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