- Author: Stacey AMPARANO
If you have ever enjoyed Barilla pasta in your favorite Italian dish, you have most likely consumed Desert Durum wheat from Imperial County. The success of the Desert Durum wheat is due to research of UC Davis Distinguished Professor and HHMI Researcher, Jorge Dubcovsky. Desert REC is the central testing location for the University of California Durum Wheat breeding and Regional testing program. The Imperial Valley is the main location for the production of the Desert Durum ®, a special type of durum with excellent quality that is highly demanded by different local and international buyerslikeBarilla Pasta. Through testing at Desert REC, the UC Durum Wheat breeding and Regional testing program developed the successful variety Desert King in 2005, which was followed in 2011 by Desert King-HP. This varietal incorporated a gene from wild wheat that significantly increased grain protein content. To satisfy the quality requirements of the international buyers the UC programreleasedMiwok in 2013 with reduced cadmium levels. Recently, in 2018 the program released Desert Gold, which combines the high yield potential of Desert King, low cadmium levels, and a superb pasta quality. The durum wheat varieties developed in collaboration between UC Davis and Desert REC currently cover 43% of the durum wheat acreage in California. In addition, UC Davis and Desert REC have collaborated with industry to incorporate the high grain protein content into their varieties. Considered together, the UC varieties combined with the varieties from industry developed with the help of Desert REC and the UC Davis Breeding program currently cover 80% of the durum wheat acreage in California. This number documents the high value that the UC Davis-Desert REC collaboration brings to the California Wheat Industry in general.
For more information on the UC Durum Wheat breeding and Regional testing program, please contact Jorge Dubcovsky at email@example.com
For more information on DREC and its educational program, please contact our Center Director, Jairo Diaz at firstname.lastname@example.org or our Farm Smart Program Manager, Stacey Amparano, at email@example.com. You can also reach us at (760)356-3060