Hard Red Spring Wheat Varieties

Hard red spring wheat (Triticum sp.) is a grain crop most heavily grown in Montana and the Dakotas on the American Great Plains. The name "hard red spring" refers to the hard seed coat and the time of year it is sown in fields. Hard red spring wheat is high in protein when compared to other types of wheat, and makes an exceptional flour for use in breadmaking. There are hundreds of varieties of hard red spring wheat.


In 2009, Glenn was the most popular variety of red spring wheat grown in North Dakota, accounting for nearly 24 percent of all crop acreage of wheat fields. This variety was developed by North Dakota State University and released in 2005. It is regarded as a semi-dwarf variety with strong stems (yielding straw) and a bearded seed head. It is resistant to both leaf and stem rust diseases. The flour produced from this wheat variety is superior (ranked as five stars by the Mill and Bake Quality Rating) at the NDSU Hard Red Spring Wheat Quality Laboratory, and is the standard by which all new wheat varieties are compared.


North Dakota State University also developed and released the variety Faller, but later in 2007. It shares the same physical characteristics as Glenn, but ripens and is ready for harvest slightly later in the season. Faller is resistant to leaf and stem rusts, but can sometimes succumb to scab on the seed heads. Flour made from Faller wheat is ranked three stars (intermediate) out of five on the Mill and Bake Quality Rating scale.


Briggs was released in 2002 by breeders at South Dakota State University. It is similar physically to Glenn. Briggs is much more susceptible to foliar disease, scab on seed heads and stem rust in comparison. The Mill and Bake Quality Rating for Briggs is only two stars (low-intermediate) out of five.

Keywords: hard red wheat, wheat varieties, Triticum

About this Author

James Burghardt has written for "The Public Garden," "Docent Educator," nonprofit newsletters and for horticultural databases, becoming a full-time writer in 2008. He's gardened and worked professionally at public and private gardens in Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. He has written articles for eHow and GardenGuides.