Breeding Spring Wheat for a Changing Climate

As Montana’s climate is projected to warm in the coming decades, spring wheat breeders at MSU are focusing on conventional breeding techniques to boost tolerance to drought and hotter temperatures in spring wheat varieties.

In an article from MSU News, Dr. Luther Talbert, a spring wheat breeder in MSU’s Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, states that “The goal of the spring wheat breeding program is try to be steps ahead of what’s next…There are always pests and diseases, but climate and temperature changes are variable and hard to forecast. What we know for sure is that we need to breed for climate variability tolerance.”

By developing drought and temperature tolerant varieties, the spring wheat breeding program and researchers like Dr. Talbert hope to help Montana farmers remain profitable in the face of a changing climate.

A recording of Dr. Talbert's Rough Cut seminar, titled "Breeding Wheat Varieties for a Changing Climate," can be found on the Montana Institute on Ecosystem's website.