Not long ago, taking nine or more years to release a new wheat variety was considered standard practice. Breeders would cross two varieties and then spend years stabilizing the genetics and making selections.
Now, with the help of new breeding techniques such as double haploid, genomic selection using molecular markers and rapid-cycle speed breeding, wheat breeding programs can turn out new varieties in six years or less. This improved efficiency has been a gradual change in the industry that, for the most part, has gone without much notice from farmers – with the exception of the CoAXium Wheat Production System.
In June of 2015, the Colorado Wheat Research Foundation (CWRF), Albaugh, LLC and Limagrain Cereal Seeds (LCS) joined forces to change the way farmers produce wheat and control winter annual grassy weeds. Together, they created a cost-effective production system that combines elite wheat varieties with a patented non-GMO herbicide-tolerance trait and a new post-emergent ACCase grass herbicide. CoAXium allows growers to produce more, higher quality wheat with less dockage and foreign matter.
Breeding companies have been moving quickly to develop wheat varieties that work with the new production system ever since – at a speed never before seen in wheat genetics. A short five years after the CoAXium collaboration began, there have been 11 AX variety releases.
Limagrain Cereal Seeds is one of the breeding programs leading the charge, with four CoAXium hard red winter wheats in its portfolio. All four varieties provide excellent grassy weed control, and each one offers additional distinct advantages for Central Plains farmers:
LCS Fusion AX, the first LCS AX release, is a proven performer across the Central Plains and shows especially good drought tolerance.
LCS Photon AX also has excellent dryland performance, as well as the heaviest test weight and highest protein in the LCS CoAXium lineup. The new HRWW also offers improved end-use quality.
LCS Helix AX is a new release and the most broadly adapted CoAXium variety yet. LCS Helix AX offers an intermediate height, strong straw, improved stripe rust tolerance and desirable end-use quality.
LCS Atomic AX, also new, delivers top-end yield potential. With its early maturity, intermediate height and showy heads, LCS Atomic AX is ideal for the South Central Plains.
Other available CoAXium varieties include Incline AX, Crescent AX, Battle AX, AP18 AX, CP7017 AX, CP7050 AX and Buckhorn AX.
The CoAXium Wheat Production System and U.S. breeders plan to continue advancing genetics while providing a cost-effective solution to yield-robbing grassy weeds. More CoAXium varieties are in the pipeline, including ones with well-known LCS Chrome in the pedigree, and the herbicide-resistant trait has been integrated into public and private breeding programs across the country.