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A New Wheat for Multiple Cropping Systems in North Florida
R. D. Barnett and H. H. Luke
Agricultural Experiment Stations
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville
F. A. Wood, Dean for Research
A New Wheat for Multiple Cropping Systems
In North Florida
R. D. Barnett and H. H. Luke
Wheat is an important crop in the multiple-cropping minimum-
tillage systems widely used in North Florida. Wheat can be used as
a forage crop, a feed grain, or most importantly as a food crop.
Despite problems, wheat can be grown successfully in Florida and
can make a significant contribution to Florida agriculture. The
residual nitrogen from the soybean crop and the high price of
nitrogen fertilizer have enhanced the profitability of soybean-wheat
rotations in North Florida.
'Florida 301' is an early maturing, soft red winter wheat
developed by the University of Florida at the Agricultural Research
and Education Center at Quincy in cooperation with the Science and
Education Administration, U. S. Department of Agriculture. The
early maturity of this cultivar makes it well suited to the double-
cropping systems currently in use in North Florida. It has excellent
resistance to the races of leaf rust and powdery mildew that current-
ly attack other cultivars of wheat grown in Florida.
Florida 301 (C.I. 17769) was selected from a cross made in 1971
between 'Holley' and a Florida breeding line, '709RB3'. The
709RB3 parent used as an F, was derived from a cross between
'Olesen' and the Purdue University breeding line '64212A3-23'.
Olesen (C.I. 14497) is a short-statured spring wheat developed in
Rhodesia from a combination of crosses involving 'Norin 10',
'Mara', and an Angolian line, 'X2-50'. The Purdue line 64212A3-23
originated from a cross between 'Arthur' and 'WS20', a large seeded
selection from Portugal. Florida 301 was tested as FL71100A-
29-3-109 and has the pedigree Holley/3/Olesen//Arthur/ WS20. The
F, generation was grown at Aberdeen, Idaho, during the summer of
Dr. Barnett is Associate Professor of Agronomy at the University of
Florida, Agricultural Research and Education Center, Quincy, Florida. Dr.
Luke is Professor of Plant Pathology, Science and Education Administra-
tion, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Plant Pathology Department,
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
1971, and F, through F9 generations were grown at Quincy, Florida.
Single head selections were made in the F,, FS, and F5 generations.
The final selection was from a single head row in the F, generation.
Yield performance was first evaluated in 1977 in the F, generation.
Increases were grown at Quincy during 1978 and 1979. Seed in-
creases were made at Tetonia, Idaho, during the summer of 1979.
From the Idaho increase 62 bushels were supplied to the Florida
Foundation Seed Producers, Inc., for foundation seed production
during the 1979-80 season.
When grown under North Florida conditions, Florida 301 closely
resembles the Holley parent in maturity, plant height, straw
strength, and general appearance. It produces higher yields, has
more tillers, and has more disease resistance than Holley. The head
is awnleted, and the kernels are soft to semi-hard. In tests con-
ducted at the USDA Soft Wheat Quality Laboratory, Florida 301
was fair in general quality similar to Holley, 'McNair 1813',
'Oasis', and 'Doublecrop' cultivars. It has a harder kernel texture
and higher alkaline water retention capacity than 'Rosen' or
'Blueboy' cultivars. Flour of Florida 301 makes smaller cookies
than flour of other high quality cultivars.
Florida 301 matures very early and normally produces grain
with high test weights. It is medium in height and has relatively
weak straw. It is resistant to the prevalent races of leaf rust and
powdery mildew common to the North Florida area, but is suscepti-
ble to Septoria glume blotch and Hessian fly. Damage from Septoria
and Hessian fly can be reduced somewhat by planting late (about
December 1-15). This new cultivar performs well in late plantings
and in double cropping systems.
Florida 301 was first entered in a replicated yield test in 1977
(Table 1). It performed very well with a high yield of heavy test
weight grain. It performed well again in 1978 and 1979 yield trials
in Florida, ranking third among 13 varieties (Table 2). Lodging
percentages indicate the medium height Florida 301 has relatively
weak straw (Table 3). However, the variety is very early maturing
and exhibited excellent resistance to the races of leaf rust and
powdery mildew prevalent during 1978 and 1979 (Table 3). Florida
301 was included in the regional Uniform Southern Soft Wheat
Nursery during the 1979 season. Results from seven locations out-
side of Florida where Florida 301 seemed to be well adapted are
Table 1. Grain yield and agronomic characteristics of wheat cultivars in a
preliminary yield trial at Quincy, Florida, 1977.
Grain Test Heading Plant
Cultivar Yield Weight Date Height Lodging
bu/A lbs/bu inches %
Florida 301 71 61 3-23 42 0
Coker 68-19 65 61 3-30 39 2
Holley 65 61 3-26 40 23
McNair 1813 49 62 3-30 38 0
Oasis 38 62 4-6 34 5
Doublecrop 28 62 4-2 35 0
presented in Table 4. Florida 301 is not very winter hardy and does
not seem to be adapted north of the coastal plains region.
This cultivar produces very high forage yields early in the season
because of the vigorous upright growth habit, but the forage pro-
duction period is relatively short. It should prove to be useful in
mixtures with ryegrass, since its early forage production com-
plements the late forage production of ryegrass. When planted ear-
ly, Florida 301 produces forage early in the winter grazing season,
but unless it is closely grazed, it might head too early to produce a
grain crop. The variety has a low vernalization requirement, and
begins jointing after a relatively small amount of cold weather.
Figure 1. Seed increase field of Florida 301 wheat grown at Tetonia,
Idaho, in the summer of 1979. Florida 301 normally grows con-
siderably taller than this in North Florida.
Table 2. Grain yield in bushels per acre of wheat cultivars grown in yield trials in North Florida during 1978 and 1979.
Cultivar Quincy Marianna Jay Early Late Marianna Jay Seven
Planted Planted Test
Quincy Quincy Average
Florida 301 49 30 26 48 49 51 29 40
McNair 1003 58 23 20 57 44 52 31 41
Southern Belle 55 21 33 54 46 46 29 41
Holley 59 28 17 52 41 38 24 37
McNair 1813 51 22 18 55 43 41 27 37
Coker 68-19 55 17 20 48 41 41 25 36
Doublecrop 43 21 25 47 37 45 29 35
Delta Queen 50 20 14 51 38 39 30 35
Rosen 54 20 15 49 30 48 25 34
Omega 78 46 18 21 40 44 42 25 34
Wakeland 46 20 11 38 33 41 32 32
Arthur 71 48 20 13 44 37 36 23 31
Roy 44 20 17 47 28 35 29 31
Table 3. Agronomic characteristics and disease ratings of wheat cultivars grown in North Florida during 1978 and 1979.
Cultivar Test Heading Plant Lodging' Powdery Leaf
Weight' Date' Height' mildew2 Rust'
lbs/bu inches % % %
Florida 301 56 3-27 41 30 0 0
McNair 1003 50 4-7 38 6 0 40
Southern Belle 58 4-8 35 1 17 3
Holley 55 3-27 44 31 0 10
McNair 1813 54 4-6 39 12 0 25
Coker 68-19 57 4-6 38 9 3 20
Doublecrop 57 4-8 38 6 21 3
Delta Queen 54 4-5 36 41 0 14
Rosen 53 4-6 36 6 37 8
Omega 78 54 4-2 36 13 0 3
Wakeland 56 4-7 46 67 15 12
Arthur 71 55 4-11 38 14 23 17
Roy 50 4-12 38 1 15 20
'Average of seven trials.
'Average of three trials.
'Average of four trials.
Table 4. Grain yield and test weight of wheat cultivars grown in the Uniform Southern Soft Wheat Nursery at seven locations
Grain Yield Bu/A Test Wt.
Cultivar Georgia South Carolina North Carolina Lbs/B
Tifton Plains Experiment Clemson Hartsville Rowan Co.Laurinburg Locations Locations
Florida 301 60 60 67 52 54 63 66 60 59
Delta Queen 56 68 45 49 48 56 64 55 57
Roy 47 73 48 45 47 56 62 54 54
Southern Belle 56 66 56 44 44 45 61 53 58
Omega 78 52 71 47 46 50 48 59 53 57
Holley 53 64 46 51 45 44 71 53 58
Arthur 71 44 59 49 38 38 47 53 47 59
Figure 2. R. D. Barnett in a Foundation Seed increase field of Florida 301
on May 12, 1980, at Marianna, Florida.
Florida 301 can be planted as late as the middle of December and
still produce near-maximum yields. Even when planted late, it
matures early. Farmers in North Florida often do not complete soy-
bean harvest until the latter part of November. Therefore, a cultivar
that yields well when planted late is needed. The early maturity of
Floridas 301 allows early harvest, normally by the 20th of May,
which in turn gives ample time to prepare land for the soybean crop
which follows the wheat. The short growing season of Florida 301
offers two additional advantages. Late planted wheat escapes most
of the damage caused by Septoria glume blotch. Early maturity
allows grain filling to occur when temperatures are relatively cool
and moisture adequate. Later maturing cultivars are quite often
damaged by hot dry weather that quite often occurs during their
grain filling period. The short growing season, in conjunction with
superior disease resistance, makes Florida 301 superior to other
cultivars being used in the wheat-soybean double cropping system
Florida 301 should be grown in a manner similar to other
cultivars of soft red winter wheat. Because of its early maturity and
somewhat weak straw strength, later planting dates are suggested.
Planting dates between December 1 and December 15 should be
ideal for grain production in North Florida. Planting this late will
avoid damage to the grain by a late frost in the spring. Less
nitrogen fertilizer is suggested for Florida 301 than for other
cultivars, since heavy amounts may cause lodging.
AVAILABILITY OF SEED
Breeder seed of Florida 301 will be maintained by the
Agricultural Research and Education Center at Quincy. Request for
foundation seed should be made to the Florida Foundation Seed
Producers, Inc., P. O. Box 309, Greenwood, Florida 32443. Applica-
tion for plant variety protection has been filed with the USDA Plant
Protection Office specifying that seed of Florida 301 is to be sold by
variety name only as a class of certified seed.
This public document was promulgated at an annual cost of
$1,872 or a cost of 26.7 cents per copy to announce the release
of a new wheat variety.
All programs and related activities sponsored or assisted by the Florida
Agricultural Experiment Stations are open to all persons regardless of race,
color, national origin, age, sex, or handicap.