CHAMP is a variety of winter spelt developed at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Although a few varieties of spelt were developed in the early part of this century, none appear to exist in recent years. Local collections made in the 1970’s do not fit the early published descriptions of improved varieties; thus, they have been referred to as “common” spelt. Champ, the first public variety released in recent decades, is the progeny of a wheat-spelt cross. At the end of the 1985 season Champ had been tested in a total of 15 trials over 5 years and has out yielded common spelt by an average of 23.2%. Champ is an awnless, brown chaffed cultivar with approximately the same maturity and equivalent winter hardiness as common spelt. The variety is slightly taller and has considerably improved straw strength. Champ possesses very good resistance to leaf rust but is only moderately resistant to powdery mildew. It also appears very resistant to wheat spindle streak mosaic virus (WSSM). Protein content of Champ has consistently been 1 to 1.5% higher than common spelt.
COMET is easily distinguishable from Oberkulmer, Champ, Maverick and Sungold due to its extreme shortness of stature, its earliness, and its cream or off-white chaff color. Comet has averaged twenty inches shorter than Oberkulmer and about twelve inches shorter than Maverick or Sungold. It averages about the same date of heading as Maverick and is several days earlier than Oberkulmer and Champ. The cultivar appears well adapted to Midwest growing conditions. Late seedings of increases indicate the cultivar has excellent winter hardiness. Comet appears to have very high protein content, averaging 1.5% higher than Oberkulmer (whole grain) in tests prior to 1998. This cultivar is exclusively licensed to French’s Hybrids, Inc. as a royalty bearing variety.
MAVERICK is easily distinguishable from Oberkulmer and Champ in that it is white chaffed at maturity. Maverick is several days earlier and several inches shorter in height than Champ. Maverick exhibits much improved winter survival over other varieties as well as improved test weight. Protein contents are very acceptable and baking qualities are superior to Oberkulmer. In five years of testing, Maverick has nearly a 9 bushel per acre yield advantage over Oberkulmer. This line appears well adapted to Midwest growing conditions and has performed very well in trials in the upper Midwest and Canada. This cultivar is exclusively licensed to French’s Hybrids, Inc. as a royalty bearing variety.
OBERKULMER is a robust older cultivar capable of excellent yield and performance. Imported from Switzerland and tested in Ohio since 1989. Oberkulmer, a pure spelt cultivar containing no wheat germplasm in its parentage, is one of the cultivars preferred for food usage. It is especially desirable for bread making due to its high grain protein content whichalso makes it very desirable for use in animal rations. In 1994 trials in Ohio, Oberkulmer averaged 2.1 higher whole grain protein than Rouquin; 1.6% higher than GR 900. The cultivar is characterized by extremely high winter hardiness; is awnless with brown chaff color, large heads and large kernels. It is similar to Champ and GR 900 in heading dateand maturity and a few inches taller in height. Yields over the past three years have been equal to Champ and GR 900 in four replicated yield trials. This cultivar is exclusively licensed to French’s Hybrids, Inc. as a royalty bearing variety.
SAMMY is a two generation exclusively licensed to Rupp Seeds, as a royalty bearing variety for marketing in the U.S. The variety is much earlier in heading data than either “Oberkulmer” or “Sava”. Sammy is shorter than Oberkulmer, but similar to Sava in plant height. Sammyis much improved to both Oberkulmer and Sava in lodging resistance.The variants found in Sammy are less than 1% awned plants. Sammy has a lax head that is tapering in shape. Tip awns are present and are generally between 1 and 2 inches in length. Plant color at maturity islight to medium brown. When compared to the spelt variety “Maverick”, Sammy differs in chaff color, being described as “light to medium brown” while Maverick is described as “white”, has longer tip awns and wider, shorter, glumes. Sammy appears well adapted to growing conditions found throughout the Midwest and should be an important addition to the spelt genotypes available for production in the future.
SONIC was released in 2014 by the Sunbeam Extract Company of Indiana for marketing in the U.S. primarily as a forage cultivar to be grown in the Eastern states. It is intended to replace the old European cultivar, Oberkulmer Rottkorn. While no forage yields of Sonic or Oberkulmer are available, Sonic is expected to equal or outyield Oberkulmer Rottkorn in forage production due to its equal height, more vigorous growth habit and improved disease resistance. Since Sonic is intended for use as a forage crop, grain yield is important only to the sole licensee. Sonic appears to be a very stable, uniform, and pure cultivar as observed by the originator over a period of several years. Few off-types have been observed. This cultivar has been exclusively licensed to French’s Hybrids, Inc. of Wakeman, Ohio as a royalty bearing cultivar.
SUNGOLD is easily distinguishable from Oberkulmer, Champ, and Maverick, the only other spelt cultivars currently certified since it has a medium brown chaff color. Sungold is also several days earlier to head than Oberkulmer and Champ, but about three days later in heading than Maverick. Sungold is also several inches shorter than Oberkulmer and Champ, being about the same height as Maverick. The cultivar appears well adapted to Midwest growing conditions and has also performed well in Montana and Canada. This cultivar is exclusively licensed to French’s Hybrids, Inc. as a royalty variety.