U of MN Releases ‘MN-Rothsay’ Wheat

June 22, 2022

The University of Minnesota has released a new hard red spring wheat variety called ‘MN-Rothsay.’ MN-Rothsay features a good combination of yield, protein, and disease resistance and exceptional straw strength.

“MN-Rothsay has straw strength comparable to Linkert but has about 10% higher grain yield,” says Jim Anderson, University of Minnesota wheat breeder in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. “The exceptional straw strength of Linkert was largely responsible for its 5-year reign from 2016-2020 as the most popular variety in the state. We expect MN-Rothsay’s higher grain yields, which are comparable or higher than other popular varieties, and improved disease resistance compared to Linkert will be attractive to growers and increase wheat productivity.”

Prior to being formally named, MN-Rothsay was tested as MN15005-4. The line stood out in both state and regional trials including the Uniform Regional Nurseries trials where it finished 2nd in grain yield out of 33 experimental entries in 2018, 8th out of 34 in 2019, and had the best straw strength of all entries in both years. 

Jochum Wiersma, University of Minnesota Extension Small Grains Specialist, stresses, “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.”

The new release is named in honor of the city of Rothsay, Minn., which is an area of the state with a long history of wheat production.

MN-Rothsay performance data and comparisons to other popular MN wheat varieties are available at maes.umn.edu.

2022 Field Days and On-Farm Trials

MN-Rothsay plantings can be previewed Wednesday, July 20th during Crops and Soils Day at the University’s Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC), Crookston. Plots of MN-Rothsay and competing varieties are also available to view in on-farm trials during the Small Grain Summer Plot Tour at the following Minnesota sites, with two-hour tours scheduled for the days listed:

  • Le Center, Monday, June 27 at 1:00 p.m. with a lunch served in the farm shop at 12:30 pm prior to the plot tour (Ruth Hoefs/Ron Pomije Farm, 20676 340th St., Le Center)
  • Fergus Falls, Monday, July 11 at 9:00 a.m. (John Walkup Farm, GPS: 46.09460, -96.17745)
  • Oklee, Tuesday, July 12 at 9:00 a.m. (Swenson Seed Farm, GPS: 47.77557, -95.86071)
  • Humboldt, Wednesday, July 13 at 9:00 a.m. (Mark & Neil Wiese Farm, GPS: 48.92024, -97.06799)
  • Strathcona, Friday, July 22 at 1:00 p.m. (Jim Kukowksi Farm, GPS: 48.57478, -96.21688)

University of Minnesota experts will provide information relevant to the current growing season and answer questions. Participants are highly encouraged to bring any field samples for diagnosis and/or conversation. For more information on the Small Grain Summer Plot Tour, visit z.umn.edu/SGfielddays.


Where to find seed: MN-Rothsay will be distributed through Minnesota Crop Improvement Association members with seed available for planting in spring 2023. Visit the MCIA website - www.mncia.org - where a list of Certified seed producers will be available in September or contact MCIA at 1-800-510-6242.

About the University of Minnesota hard red spring wheat breeding program: Researchers in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) at the University of Minnesota have been evaluating and developing wheat varieties since 1889. Evaluation and breeding is supported in part by funding from the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council, USDA-ARS, USDA-NIFA and the Small Grains Initiative and administered by the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.


  • Jim Anderson, University of Minnesota wheat breeder, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, [email protected], 612-625-9763
  • Jochum Wiersma, University of Minnesota Extension Small Grains Specialist, Northwest Research and Outreach Center, [email protected], 218-281-8629, Cell: 218-280-0123
  • Roger Wippler, Minnesota Crop Improvement Association, [email protected], 1-800-510-6242
  • Emily A Evans, Communications Specialist, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, [email protected], 507-752-5063.