The release of ‘Gale’, a new soft white winter wheat cultivar for the Willamette Valley, announced at the 2024 Hyslop Farm Field Day

The OSU wheat breeding program was delighted to announce the release of the new soft white winter wheat cultivar ‘Gale’ on May 22nd at the 2024 Hyslop Farm Field Day. Based on input and support from Willamette Valley growers and stakeholders, the breeding program made the decision to name the released line OR2180377 after Gale Gingrich of Salem, Oregon, who passed away unexpectedly in 2021 at the age of 77. Gale was born in Lebanon, Oregon and received a Masters degree in agronomy from OSU. He went on to serve as an OSU extension agent in the Willamette Valley for over thirty years and then worked with Marion Ag Service in St. Paul, Oregon, following his retirement.

During the Hyslop Farm Field Day, Mark Mellbye, who was a dear friend of Gale, shared stories of the years he spent working alongside Gale as the extension agent for Linn, Benton, and Lane Counties. The new OSU wheat breeder Dr. Margaret Krause was on-hand to introduce the characteristics of the new cultivar and show plots of Gale in the field. Cereal scientist Dr. Andrew Ross baked sets of cookies made with flour from Rosalyn and Gale, allowing field day attendees to conduct their own taste tests. Finally, arrangements made with seed and stalks of Gale wheat were presented to members of Gale’s family who were in attendance at the field day in recognition of his life and contributions to the Willamette Valley as a pillar of the wheat community.

The Gale cultivar is intended as a new alternative to the soft white winter wheat cultivar ‘Rosalyn’, which was released by the OSU wheat breeding program in 2013. Gale was tested in Corvallis and in the Cornelius/Banks area in 2021, 2022, and 2023 alongside ‘Stephens’, Rosalyn, ‘Norwest Tandem’, and ‘LCS Shine’. Gale had the highest yields overall, averaging 115 bu/ac over the six site-years compared to 109 bu/ac for LCS Shine and 105 bu/ac for Rosalyn. With Rosalyn’s heavy influence in its pedigree, Gale’s test weights were slightly on the lower end, averaging 59.2 lbs/bu across the six site-years. While lower than the other four checks, the mean test weight would have still received the No. 1 grade for test weight based on the 58.5 lbs/bu breakpoint. Gale is awn-tipped with height comparable to Rosalyn and heading date averaging one to two days earlier than Rosalyn. Gale offers an important improvement over Rosalyn with respect to stripe rust resistance, showing less rust compared to Rosalyn in the 2021 and 2022 Willamette Valley trials. Gale has shown intermediate response to Septoria leaf blotch, another important disease for the Willamette Valley, reacting comparable to Rosalyn and showing more resistance than Stephens, LCS Shine, and Norwest Tandem. Based on these assessments, Gale would improve the milling and baking quality of soft white winter wheat grown in the Willamette Valley. It remains on track to be rated a “Most Desirable” variety on the PNW Wheat Quality Council’s Preferred Variety List.

During the cultivar development process, Gale was selected out of trials grown on farmers’ fields in the Willamette Valley. The OSU wheat breeding program would like to thank and acknowledge Willamette Valley growers for their collaboration over the years and the Oregon Wheat Commission for their support of the breeding efforts that went into developing Gale. The program hopes that the new cultivar will be a competitive and profitable option for growers in the region.


Photo credit: OSU College of Agricultural Sciences social media


Photo credit: OSU College of Agricultural Sciences social media


Photo Credit: The Statesman Journal (


Photo Credit: Dr. William Young