KanMark: New wheat variety from K-State

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KanMark is a new hard red winter wheat variety from K-State’s Manhattan wheat breeding program. It was released in 2014. KanMark is targeted primarily for the western half of Kansas, west of Russell. It can also do well in central Kansas as long as producers take precautions on acid soils and where wheat is planted after corn.

KanMark’s most desirable trait is its reliability under moderate drought. It is more of a “workhorse” than a “racehorse” variety, with remarkably consistent yields under less-than-favorable water inputs.

It tends to be in the top third of the tests every time. It is not often right at the top of the tests, but is always up there. Its performance under irrigated conditions is also notable.

It is a short wheat with a very upright growth habit and open canopy. Leaf rust and stripe rust resistance is a strength of this new variety. It is also resistant to soilborne mosaic and moderately resistant to stem rust. It is intermediate to tan spot and septoria leaf blotch, but is susceptible to powdery mildew and Hessian fly. It is moderately susceptible to barley yellow dwarf and wheat streak mosaic.

One of the weaknesses of KanMark is that it is extremely susceptible to head scab – similar to Overley. For this reason, it is not well suited for planting after corn. KanMark is also moderately susceptible to aluminum toxicity on low-pH soils, with a reaction similar to Fuller.

Its straw strength is excellent, and its test weight is very good. It has medium maturity.

KanMark is marketed by Kansas Wheat Alliance. Foundation seed has been distributed this fall to interested seed producers who have a license with KWA. A limited supply of certified seed could be available in 2015 with larger supplies the following year.

KanMark is named after Mark Carleton, an early plant explorer with K-State and first president of the American Society of Agronomy. Carleton also developed Kanred, the first wheat variety to be released by K-State.

The pedigree of Kanred includes lines from a Karl 92 derivative, Parula, and Pastor.


Allan Fritz, Wheat Breeder