About Elmer G. Heyne

Dr. Elmer G. HeyneDr. Elmer G. Heyne’s (1912 – 1997) contributions to science began in 1938 when he joined the Agronomy faculty at Kansas State University. His career was marked by a succession of significant scientific achievements:

  • Authorship of over 100 papers
  • Development of plant breeding techniques
  • Fundamental discoveries involving the inheritance of wheat quality
  • Inheritance of wheat disease reaction
  • Release of three corn lines, four sorghum lines, one barley variety, six oat varieties, and ten wheat varieties

His contributions to his profession and society were equally impressive:

  • Chairman for many committees for both organizations
  • Director of the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America
  • Major professor for 60 graduate students

In addition, he was chairman of the International Wheat Genetics Stocks Committee, founder and editor for the Wheat Newsletter, chairman of the Kansas State University Genetics Graduate Program, and President of the Kansas State University chapters of Phi Kappa Phi and Gamma Sigma Delta. Dr. Heyne’s most significant contributions involved wheat breeding. He introduced “Newton”, a semi-dwarf hard red winter wheat cultivar in 1977 that was widely planted across Kansas and much of the Great Plains. He also developed white wheat germplasm that provided the basis for cultivars released by the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station. His devotion as a researcher and teacher exemplified the responsibility of scientists at land grant institutions.