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Small Grains Cultivar Testing

Trial Results

Plot of red fife wheat

Wheat, Oat and Barley Testing in New York

Below are the results of the small grains regional trials and the cumulative summaries over several years. As rankings of the varieties and lines often change from year to year, only the multiple year summaries should be considered as indicators of varietal performance in this region. Reproduction of any table in this report must include the entire table unless approved by the Project. The information herein is provided with the understanding that no discrimination is intended, and no endorsement by Cornell University or its employees is implied.

Small Grains Yield Trial Publication

Yield Trial Summary Reports

Hudson Valley Trials

  • Winter Grains - 2016
  • Spring Grains - 2016

Organic Trials

Quality Evaluations

  • Bread Baking and Sensory Evaluation - 2015
  • Emmer Pasta and Sensory Evaluation - 2015

Testing Procedures

The Soft Red Winter Wheat and the Spring Oat regional trials are generally grown in four locations, while the Spring Barley regional trials are grown in three or four locations. The wheat and oat trials near Ithaca consist of two replicates, while those in other parts of the state consist of three replicates. All spring barley trials have three replicates. All trial plots are six rows, 4 m long with 18 cm between rows. Prior to harvest, the plots are trimmed to 3 m and harvested with a plot combine. Disease and lodging notes are recorded on a 0 to 9 scale, with 0 being the best and 9 the poorest. All trials are planted in a randomized complete block design and analyzed by standard ANOVA. If there are indications of within-replicate field variation, a second ANOVA using a spatial adjustment is computed and the adjusted means are used for the summary. All trials are fertilized according to soil test recommendations for small grains. Winter grains generally receive a top dress of 40 lbs/a of actual N in the spring.

Fee Testing Programs

Wheat, oat, and barley trials are available to private companies that want to test their lines and varieties more extensively in New York State. For the 2014-2015 crop year, the testing fee for red winter wheat and triticale will be $750 per entry for private varieties. Spring wheat, spring oat, and spring barley will be $600 per entry for private varieties.

The amount of seed required for the trials is1.2kg of wheat, 800g of oat, or 700g of barley (untreated if possible). The typical protocol includes routinely recording data on winter survival (winter wheat and barley) heading date, plant height, yield, and test weight at local locations; however, only grain yield, test weight, and lodging are recorded for remote locations. Any diseases that can be assessed accurately are scored. Samples of all wheat lines are sent to the Wooster Wheat Quality Lab for milling and baking quality evaluation and barley samples are sent to the Cereal Quality Lab for malt testing. Turn-around time for data on wheat is about two weeks after harvest, but spring grains summaries are normally not distributed until after the winter grains are planted. Companies wishing to place entries in the winter grains trials must contact Mark Sorrells ( or David Benscher ( by August 15, and for spring grains, entries must be placed by March 1.


The testing program depends on the ability to test new varieties in the areas where they will be grown under actual farming conditions. We gratefully acknowledge the farmers who have provided us with test sites for our regional trials. Without their support, we would not be able to provide accurate, unbiased test results. Extension specialists Mike Stanyard, Bill Verbeten, Kevin Ganoe, and Justin O’Dea have been instrumental in arranging test sites, field days, and information distribution. Also, we thank Drs. Gary C. Bergstrom, William J. Cox, and Margaret Smith, extension faculty in the Departments of Plant Pathology, Crop and Soil Sciences, and Plant Breeding and Genetics, for their excellent cooperation and support.