Alaskan Winter Wheat is thought to have been brought by early immigrants from Russia to North Dakota, where it was called Wild Goose. Wild Goose was a name commonly used for Arnautka, or durum wheat, during the early years of durum cultivation in the U.S. In 1923, The USDA documented the wheat and stated its introduction into the U.S. from Ireland in 1806. The story goes that a Russian hunter shot a wild goose and found this wheat in its gullet. The hunter planted the grain and discovered its merits, but of course had no idea where the goose had been feeding.
Old texts mention that despite the name of Alaskan Winter Wheat, it’s not well suited for extreme winters. However, a grower recorded the grain doing fine at a 14° low with light snow. Average plant height is 3.5 – 4′. Its height can be a problem with lodging in high wind areas.