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Plant Breeding
Clearfield on list of new Idaho wheats

Idaho’s first Clearfield hard white winter wheat is coming to growers.

Yield test for corn turns 90

Numerous generations of farmers have relied on what many still refer to as the Iowa Corn Yield Test. For years that was its name. For 90 consecutive years the test has been conducted at various locations in Iowa to provide information to help select corn varieties and hybrids to plant.

Become an innovative leader

There are four types of farmers: followers, early adopters, innovators and bleeders. I prefer to talk about a hybrid type — an innovative leader.

Corn hybrids are not forever

You might remember the James Bond movie “Diamonds are Forever.” Unfortunately, new corn hybrids only last a few years. After all that time searching for the needle in the haystack, there’s only a small window to use it.

New potato varieties coming

Americans love potatoes, consuming about 130 pounds per person annually. But it’s a wonder the spuds even make it to the dinner table, given the many fungal diseases that attack the tuber crop — powdery scab and black dot among them. 

Wanted: traditional beans

The soybean tribe has spoken: Focus soybean breeding research on conventional varieties.

Rice hybrid a plus for growers, millers

The weather was mighty harsh across much of the southern rice belt for the 2009 growing season.

Companies developing drought-tolerant crops

Advanta and Bioceres aim to develop drought-tolerant sorghum, rice, cotton and brassica crops.

Sorghum for energy pursued

After working to secure the research dollars, NSP collaborated with NREL to provide almost 100 different sorghum samples for testing, eventually choosing two for pilot testing.

Cotton plants that take a blast coming

Someday breeders will be able to choose cotton plants that can better withstand wind sandblasting, according to an Agricultural Research Service scientist.

Oklahoma works to find better peanut

Better peanuts may be coming soon to the Southwest, thanks to collaborative work in Oklahoma.

Will the right soybean please stand up?

Thomas Carter celebrated his 56th birthday this year. Twenty-eight years ago, half his lifetime to this point, he began a long-range project to find a soybean with drought resistance. Now he’s on the edge of his work coming to fruition. Carter has designed five drought-hardy soybean varieties that appear to have the right kind of drought hardiness. He will release the first of them this winter.

Cup plant holds double benefits

South Dakota State University scientists are exploring a native perennial called the cup plant as a potential new biomass crop that could also store carbon in its extensive root system and add biodiversity to biomass plantings.

Tech creates new traits without GMOs

The difference in someone asking you to be “quiet” or telling you you’re “quite” the nice guy comes down to the placement of one letter. But one letter changes the meaning — and could mean the difference between a smile and a frown.

Wheat fly-free date is set for a reason

In years past, agronomists consistently reminded wheat growers of the Hessian fly-free date.

GMO wheat likely 8 years away, KSU breeder says

Transgenic varieties are commonplace now for cotton and corn. But GMO commercial wheat may still be about eight years away for U.S. producers.

Persistent forage has new promise

More than 100 years after an explorer first brought yellow-flowered alfalfa from Siberia to North America, South Dakota State University scientists are exploring how it might improve the quality of grazing in pastures of crested wheatgrass.

Drought-optimized corn hybrids coming

Drought is an unwelcome but regular visitor to the western Corn Belt, knocking on the door somewhere every year and adversely affecting both dryland farmers and those who are limited on their irrigation water.

UNL program sprouts wheats

A new wheat variety coming out of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s breeding program stands to heighten interest in irrigated wheat.

Study: Bt corn benefits other corn

Transgenic corn’s resistance to pests has benefited even non-transgenic corn, a new study led by scientists from the University of Minnesota shows.

He wants a better bean

Carlos Urrea wants to keep Nebraska at the top in United States production of dry edible beans such as great northern, pinto and light red kidney.

Monsanto develops tools for 2020 farmers

The farmers of 2020 may have technologies at their fingertips that are pipe dreams today. Yet some of the technologies they will access are already in the pipeline. You should get access to some of these technologies before 2020.

University of Missouri Extension agronomists share their RR alfalfa advice

Since USDA authorized resumption of the sale of Roundup Ready alfalfa in late January, University of Missouri Extension agronomists have fielded a few inquiries from farmers around the state.

Bayer plans to make major investment in Nebraska wheat

Bayer CropScience’s emergence in the wheat breeding arena is big news for Nebraska. The German-based company recently announced it will establish its first North American wheat breeding station near Lincoln, on a 300-acre site yet to be determined.

OSU hooded winter barley gets high marks

"If I were a cow, I’d want to be eating some of this stuff.”

OSU potatoes target fry, gourmet markets

Two new potatoes from Oregon State University offer some important options for the spud industry, says plant breeder Solomon Yilma.

Chinese seek higher levels of oil, protein in soybean imports

Lisa Lunz and her husband, Jim, of Wakefield have always considered yield one of their top soybean production goals.

New alfalfa varieties matched to field conditions

Pioneer Hi-Bred is providing high-quality alfalfa varieties to help growers match alfalfa to field conditions.

Small-grains farmers urged to comply with PVPA regulations

Soon fall will arrive and small-grains farmers will be seeding a new crop. But producers should be aware of specific regulations regarding the Plant Variety Protection Act, or PVPA.

Wheat varieties excel over several years

One thing Robert Duncan of College Station emphasizes as Texas AgriLife Extension Service state small-grains specialist is to look at more than just one year’s data when considering wheat varieties.

Trials reveal best organic wheat varieties

It takes years for a wheat variety to make it from testing to availability for planting. For organic wheat, the process is tougher because of additional criteria, says Richard Little, University of Nebraska organic wheat breeding specialist and coordinator.

Study seeks ways to best manage corn tolerant to drought

Be water wise.

Cotton growers hear about new work at Monsanto Megasite

On the first cool and rainy morning many could remember, cotton growers got to go inside one of the world’s state-of-the-art facilities in Lubbock, Texas, to see the latest advances in cotton, as well as get a glimpse into the future.

Bayer cotton varieties, tools ready for ’12

It’s not long until the New Year, and cotton growers are ready.

What’s meant by hybrid diversity?

When an agronomist recommends farmers plant a diversity of corn hybrids, what does that mean? Here’s the dictionary definition of diverse: 1: having a different kind, form, character or quality 2: dissimilar, unlike.

Look at performance differences of hybrids

Evaluating yield data is important when deciding which corn hybrids to plant. Agronomists also say to plant a diverse set of hybrids. So beyond yield, what other factors should you evaluate to help ensure you get that genetic diversity?

Wheat industry buzzing about new CSU varieties

Arrival of Byrd wheat from the Colorado State University Breeding and Genetics Program in August has been “one of the most anticipated variety releases in recent memory,” says Glenda Mostek.

New corn types deal with less water and still thrive

In Texas, water is gold.

Study aims to cut wheat losses due to drought stress

Texas AgriLife Research scientists are trying to make the best of an “extreme” situation.

Stacked cottons only way to grow for Plains farmer

Plains, Texas, cotton grower Rickey Bearden hopes the upcoming 2012 growing season will be far kinder than the drought-stricken and super-hot 2011 crop year.

Cotton makes Monsanto’s list for research, development work

Cotton is among a diverse group of projects from Monsanto’s research and development platforms to make agriculture more productive and profitable for farmers.

Geneticist seeks a better corn

Pork and poultry producers could one day be the beneficiaries of corn genetic research being conducted at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The research is being led by David Holding, a plant molecular geneticist who came to UNL in 2009 from the University of Arizona.

Plant soybeans early to pump up yields

Early-planted soybeans can provide profitable yield advantages in most cases. “Plant soybeans early, but do it right,” recommends University of Nebraska-Lincoln soybean expert James E. Specht.

Peanut producers looking for better year

Farmers live in “next-year” country. After the devastating 2011 drought in the Southwest, peanut growers are hoping for real change this year.

Trials help producers find soybean varieties that mature earlier

Soybeans aren’t something new for Texas producers, but one Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert is trying to develop a production system that will help combat drought and include varieties that mature earlier.

New tomato to the rescue

The whitefly in Texas finally may be sending up a surrender flag to tomato processors in the state, thanks to a Texas AgriLife Research scientist developing a new variety that resists the virus spread by this pesky insect.

Glee and Otto added as new wheat options for Pacific Northwest

Two of Washington State University’s latest wheat variety releases, Glee and Otto, are offering new options for growers to increase yields and profits.

Limagrain to release rust-resistant variety

Limagrain Cereal Seeds, the new kid on the block in U.S. wheat research, has announced its first release, LCS Mint. LCS Mint is now in foundation seed production and will be available in the fall of 2012 as certified seed.

EPA gives approval for TwinLink technology

Bayer CropScience has the OK from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its TwinLink technology in the U.S. and anticipates having it in FiberMax and Stoneville cotton varieties in 2013, pending regulatory approvals in key import countries.

America’s Farmers Mobile Experience spreads ag’s story

The Monsanto “America’s Farmers Mobile Experience” hit a homerun at the 20th Annual Texas Farm, Ranch and Wildlife Expo in Abilene.

K-State gluten-free research growing

Kathryn Deschenes, a master’s degree student in food science at Kansas State University, has a personal interest in improving the quality of gluten-free products on the market.

Spotlight on wheat

Rollie Sears is no stranger to the quest for hybrid wheat, or to the challenges that have thwarted researchers for more than 25 years.

Wheat gains major ground in research

In recent years, buoyed by growing worldwide demand for the cereal crop that provides the “staff of life” to millions of people, a growing world population and higher prices, wheat research has gained ground.

Big changes, rapid growth mark commitment to wheat research

Jon Rich can remember when the only three people working in wheat research at the Syngenta wheat breeding and research station near Junction City were himself, Harold Erichsen and Rollie Sears. Their offices were in an old farmhouse, and they had one small, not exactly state-of-the-art greenhouse.

Fine-tuning potatoes

It may be too early to call them super spuds, but the groundwork has been laid and the process is under way to develop potato varieties with desirable agronomic, processing and nutritional traits — all possible with ongoing genetic research.

No more brown chips

During the march to the Final Four, there were plenty of bowls of potato chips and dip strategically placed around jumbo-sized TV screens. Even though chip companies go to great lengths to remove the loathed brown chips that are both displeasing to the eye and often bitter, inevitably a few make it into the bag and bowl. But what if a spud could be created that was less likely to produce brown chips?

Planter tune-up is a ‘must-do-now’

In this third Q&A series article, Russell McLucas, Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance board member, and Del Voight, Penn State Extension grain crop specialist, address planter and drill maintenance issues.

Don’t compromise on seed quality

2009 was a tough growing season and an even tougher harvest, and it’s created a lot of concern about soybean seed quality for 2010.

Promising corn varieties from Texas AgriLife fight aflatoxin

The war against aflatoxin is tough. But Texas AgriLife Research scientists showcased promising hybrid corn varieties to a group of producers and industry representatives recently at field trials just outside College Station.

Wheat, triticale, winter barley add to list of choices

Texas AgriLife Extension state small-grains specialist Robert Duncan of College Station told a capacity crowd at the biannual Big Country Wheat Conference in Abilene that producers should decide if making grain or forage is their main goal — and even then, not placing their hopes all on one variety.

MSU develops aphid-resistant soybeans

For Andy Welden and other soybean growers in Michigan, aphids are little insects that cause big headaches.Welden planted 800 acres of soybeans on his 1,500-acre farm in Hillsdale County this year.

Work rocks on black-eyed pea variety for dry growing areas

Texas AgriLife Research scientists hope a drought-resistant trait from a crossbred cowpea soon will be available to producers. So far results look promising.

Grain yields need boost to overcome global food deficit

Ken Cassman believes Nebraska farmers are in a strategic position to help meet global food needs of the future, but not by themselves.

Dry year ideal to test drought tolerance of wheat varieties

While hammering agriculture, the historic Texas drought provided a perfect year to test wheat varieties for drought tolerance.

NMSU researchers looking at chile plants for salt tolerance

A good chile crop is a big deal in New Mexico.

NMSU study aims for flower power

"We’re growing oil,” says Patrice Harrison-Inglis while standing in a half-acre field of shoulder-high sunflowers at Pena Blanca, N.M.

First 40 days critical for cotton production

Experts agree on the importance of a good, vigorous start with a cotton crop.

Black sorghum hybrid aimed at health food

A Texas AgriLife Research scientist says there’s potential for a black grain sorghum hybrid targeting the health food market.

Bayer ag investment

Ask any farmer and he’ll quickly list for you two universal American traits that have kept farmers in this country in the forefront of farming worldwide. Americans have an innate work ethic, he’ll say, and this country’s farmers and business people have a spirit of ingenuity and innovation that urges them to continually develop necessary new technology.

Baenziger: passion for ag

Take it from a guy who helps feed the world: There’s nothing quite like surveying a field comprised of a healthy new crop variety your research team helped create and recalling, years earlier, when you held all the seed of it in the palm of your hand.

Pick best seed for 2013

This year’s early harvest will likely mean an earlier-than-normal start to the seed selection and buying season.

Strategy for feeding world now and later

Global agriculture is facing enormous challenges in meeting the food, fiber, feed and biofuel needs of the 7 billion global population.

High-oleic soybeans offer less trans fats

When consumers talk, the food industry listens. And trans fats proved to be no exception. With added consumer pressure in 2006, the U.S. government approved a regulation requiring trans fats be labeled on food products. This prompted food companies to begin reformulating their products to eliminate trans fats from their label, thus removing partially hydrogenated soybean oil from the ingredient list.

Wild cherry key to disease cure

Although Mother Nature has taken a severe toll on the Michigan tart cherry crop, a bright spot for the industry is growing in a greenhouse on the Michigan State University campus: seedlings, which in three generations so far, have resisted the most costly disease of Michigan tart cherries — cherry leaf spot.

The 2009 season worth a closer look

Corn yields in 2009 ranked among the highest ever recorded in the U.S., despite delayed planting. According to USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service, Indiana’s average yield was 166 bushels per acre vs. 160 in 2008, and 158 for the five-year average. It wasn’t hard to find farmers reporting whole-farm averages of 200 bushels per acre. Was it because of new genetics, traits, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides? Or was it thanks to the cool, wet summer with minima

Big yield recipe includes lots of heavy kernels

No one in their right mind last June would have guessed farmers would harvest near-record yields in 2009. Not even someone with a crystal ball could have come up with that prediction.

Prepare to face off against Goss’s wilt

For many Nebraska corn producers, Goss’s bacterial wilt and blight was like a scary, low-budget movie last year, but the sequel for 2010 could be even worse.

Recognize problem spots in soybeans and take a soil test

Soybean cyst nematode is a yield robber, so the first step in managing SCN in the field is to test the soil to know that a population exists. It can cause up to 30% yield loss with no aboveground symptoms on the plants, and it has been found in 50 Nebraska counties, which produce over 80% of the state’s soybeans. Last year, SCN cost Nebraska farmers more than $25 million in lost revenue.

Triumph Seeds’ SmartStax corn yields big for South Texas producer

A new corn hybrid shined for a South Texas farmer this year.

Weed resistance marches on

Herbicide-resistant weeds continue to gain ground in Nebraska in 2011, prompting University of Nebraska specialists to call for more integrated weed management programs that include rotating products with different modes of action.

Research continues in quest for higher soybean yields

High soybean prices and increased genetic potential have driven producers to search for common practices that can boost soybean yields and increase profits. Starter nitrogen application, foliar nutrient application and new, slow-release N products have gained attention in the past few years as methods to boost yields.