WSU releases 100th wheat variety

By Sylvia Kantor, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

spillmanPULLMAN, Wash. – The release of a new winter wheat variety named “Jasper” honors the legacy of the wheat breeding program at WSU started by William Jasper Spillman in 1894. The first variety developed by the university was released in 1905. Jasper marks the 100th.

The milestone variety (formerly WA8169) has been approved for seed production; foundation seed was planted last fall. Registered seed will be available in fall 2016 when seed dealers will plant Jasper for production of certified seed. Certified seed will be widely available to wheat farmers in fall 2017.

Arron Carter

Arron Carter, leader of the WSU winter wheat breeding program, is credited with developing Jasper.

“This variety has very good adult plant resistance to stripe rust, good end-use quality and a high yield potential,” he said. “It has broad adaptability over a range of planting environments, which means it can maintain yield potential under a range of rainfall conditions.”

Jasper was developed for the 12- to 18-inch precipitation zone in Washington.

Carter said he recognizes that the breeding program at WSU, including the 100th variety, is built on the hard work of several generations of wheat breeders including Spillman, Orville Vogel, Bob Allan, Clarence Peterson, Steve Jones and others. He credits his predecessors for the material he works with, which is so well adapted to the conditions of the Pacific Northwest.

Crop performance data for 2014 can be found at


Arron Carter, WSU Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, 509-335-6198,