The University of Minnesota has released a new hard red spring wheat variety named MN-Rothsay. When you mention wheat who does not think of the most well known wheat breeder in history, Normal Borlaug? Borlaug was educated at the University of Minnesota receiving his PhD in 1942. The Father of the Green Revolution Dr. Borlaug developed semi-dwarf high yielding wheat varieties with resistance to a number of diseases. I actually had the opportunity to meet Dr. Borlaug!

I was in a Plant Pathology class at the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus in Stakman Hall. Dr. McDonald wrapped up one lecture by saying we would have a "guest" lecturer the next day we would not want to miss. It would be the biggest scientific name we would ever meet in person! Yes, it was Dr. Borlaug! We even got to talk with him after class. We got to meet the man that more than doubled wheat yields and was credited with saving more than 1 billion lives from starvation.

So, seeing the news release about the new hard red wheat variety developed at the University of Minnesota sure brought back memories! Jim Anderson wheat breeder at in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics said MN-Rothsay has exceptional straw strength like Linkert which was the most popular wheat variety in Minnesota for the last 5 years. Plus, MN-Rothsay has better disease resistance and a 10 percent yield advantage.

By the way, this new release was named in honor of the city Rothsay that is in an area of the state with a very long history of wheat production. It sure would be fun to talk with Dr. Borlaug today about biotechnology and all the tools plant breeders have today compared to back in Dr, Borlaug's time!

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