Selecting improved buckwheat for the Northeast.

All North American breeding in the last 30 years has been done for the northern Plains, mostly by Dr. Clayton Campbell in Morden, Manitoba. The Northeast has a substantially different climate, and I am working with Dr. Campbell to develop a variety that is more productive in this region. Historically, there were over 500,000 acres of buckwheat in New York and Pennsylvania, but other crops have experienced greater genetic improvement and now have a stronger response to fertilizer. Current production in the two states is approximately 25,000 acres, but demand exceeds supply.

Important traits are:

This program began in 1995, with selection done in several New York sites using germplasm and crosses from Dr. Campbell.

Work to date has identified lines that are improved in all the desired traits, and these are being developed further. In each year, the new variety AC Manisoba has outperformed the standard variety Manor by about 10%.

Manisoba was adopted as the main commercial variety in the Northeast in 2000. While the tough 2000 growing season was a difficult introduction, the variety has done well in 2001 and 2002.

Koto, which was named after being identified as a promising breeding line for New York was named and released by Kade Research. It has outyielded Manisoba by more than 10% in our commercial trials in New York. In addition to the traits above, it also has superior flavor for soba noodles. Most growers find the distinctive black seedcoat to be an attractive sign of a premium product.

Koto was available to Northeast growers for the 2003 season under a total production contract. (See the Fall 2002 newsletter)

This work was sponsored by The Birkett Mills of Penn Yan, NY.

Both Koto and Manisoba can mature a lot of seeds.