New MN-Rothsay wheat variety has strength of Linkert but better yield

The university recently announced the release of the MN-Rothsay variety, named for the town in western Minnesota that is part of the state's wheat-growing region.

MN-Rothsay is a new wheat variety developed by the University of Minnesota.
Dylan VanBoxtel / University of Minnesota
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Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct to plot tour dates: The Oklee, Minnesota, tour is Monday, July 11, and the Fergus Falls, Minnesota, tour is Tuesday, July 12.

ST. PAUL — A new hard red spring wheat variety developed by the University of Minnesota is being described as having a stalk similar to in strength to the popular Linkert variety but with better yield.

The university recently announced the release of the MN-Rothsay variety, named for the town in western Minnesota that is part of the state's wheat-growing region.

University of Minnesota wheat breeder Jim Anderson said Linkert has been the most popular variety in Minnesota for about five years up to 2020.

"That was largely due to its superior strength that stood up to our wind and rain storms better than any other variety that was available," Anderson said.


But it is not a high-yielding variety — it's actually one of the lower yielding varieties out there.

"MN-Rothsay has comparable straw strength ... but with much higher yield," Anderson said.

He said it should yield about 5 to 10 bushels more per acre than Linkert.

He said there are other varieties with comparable yields, but won't have the straw strength of MN-Rothsay.

He said MN-Rothsay has a relatively new semi-dwarfing gene that came in from China when breeders were aiming for increased scab resistance.

"And we think that gene is at least partially responsible for the increased straw strength that we're seeing varieties like Linkert and MN-Rothsay," Anderson said.

He said it has "acceptable" scab resistance, better than Linkert but not as good as some other varieties.

MN-Rothsay will be distributed through Minnesota Crop Improvement Association members with seed available for planting in 2023.


In the Uniform Regional Nurseries trials, MN-Rothsay finished second in grain yield out of 33 experimental entries in 2018, eighth out of 34 in 2019, and had the best straw strength of all entries in both years.

“The value growers place of straw strength can not be overstated, making MN-Rothsay the logical choice to replace Linkert in the U’s line-up,” Jochum Wiersma, University of Minnesota Extension Small Grains Specialist, said in a news release.

Anderson will be in Crookston to talk wheat varieties on July 20 during Crops and Soils Day at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center.

Plots of MN-Rothsay and other varieties are also available to view in on-farm trials during the Small Grain Summer Plot Tour at these Minnesota sites that Wiersma will attend:

  • Oklee, Monday, July 11, at 9 a.m. (Swenson Seed Farm)
  • Fergus Falls, Tuesday, July 12, at 9 a.m. (John Walkup Farm)
  • Humboldt, Wednesday, July 13, at 9 a.m. (Mark and Neil Wiese Farm)
  • Strathcona, Friday, July 22, at 1 p.m. (Jim Kukowski Farm)

For more information on the Small Grain Summer Plot Tour, visit .

Reach Jeff Beach at or call 701-451-5651 (work) or 859-420-1177.
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