University of Minnesota Releases 'MN-Washburn' Wheat

University of Minnesota - Minnesota Ag Experiment
Washburn A, a potential new variety being developed by the University of Minnesota promises increased straw strength and resistance to disease.

The University of Minnesota (UMN) has released a new hard red spring wheat variety.

University officials say MN-Washburn features excellent straw strength and good overall disease resistance. In particular, it contains the bdv2 gene for resistance to Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV) making in an excellent choice in years when BYDV is prevalent.

'MN-Washburn' wheat is the newest variety from the University of Minnesota's hard red spring wheat breeding program. 

“In state trials MN-Washburn stood out due to its consistent yield, superior straw strength and overall disease resistance,” said Jim Anderson, University of Minnesota wheat breeder, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. “While lower in protein than other recent UMN releases, MN-Washburn still provides excellent milling and baking quality.”

The new release is named after the Washburn A flour mill (built in 1874 and then rebuilt in 1880 after a fire). The Washburn A mill was once the largest flour mill in the world and at its peak milled approximately two million lbs. of flour a day. The Washburn A flour mill, along with others in the area, helped earn Minneapolis the nickname, The Mill City.

“MN-Washburn is a great all-arounder in addition to being the first hard red spring wheat to contain the bdv2 gene for resistance to BYDV,” said Jochum Wiersma, UMN Associate Professor in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and an Extension Agronomist.

MN-Washburn joins several other recent University of Minnesota spring wheat varieties; Lang-MN (2017), Shelly (2016), Bolles (2015), Linkert (2013), and Rollag (2011). These varieties offer growers a good combination of strong characteristics and perform well across the upper Midwest.

More detailed performance data and comparisons of previously released varieties can be found on the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station website at Prior to being formally named, MN-Washburn was tested as MN10201-4-A.

Seed Availability

 MN-Washburn seed will be distributed through Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA) members for planting in spring 2020. Visit the MCIA website - - where a list of Certified seed producers will be available in September. Or contact MCIA at 1-800-510-6242.