Colorado State University provides excellent research faculty and staff, a focused breeding program, graduate and undergraduate students, and dedicated agricultural extension specialists. However, wheat improvement in Colorado would not be possible without the support and cooperation of the entire Colorado wheat industry. Ongoing and strong support for a public breeding program is critical because variety development and testing is a long process, especially under the highly variable climatic conditions in Colorado.
Our wheat variety performance trials, and collaborative on-farm testing, represent the final stages of a wheat breeding program where promising experimental lines are tested under an increasingly broad range of environmental conditions. Variation in precipitation, as well as variable fall, winter, and spring temperature regimes, hail and spring freeze events, interact with disease and insect pests and variety maturity to affect wheat yields. As a consequence of large environmental variation, Colorado State University annually conducts a large number of performance trials, which serve to guide producer variety decisions and to assist our breeding program to more reliably select and advance the most promising lines toward release as new varieties.