Certified Wheat Rewards Praised by Researchers

Return dividend of up to $22 an acre cited.

Published on: Sep 9, 2008

Certified wheat varieties offer growers a greater return than planting bin-run varieties, reports the Colorado Wheat Research Foundation.

Growers could reap up to $22 an acre more using certified seed, reports Darrell Hanavan, CWRF executive director.

Now that the 2008 wheat crop is harvested and growers have started thinking about the coming planting season, they should take a close look at certified seed varieties, researchers urge.

Studies at Kansas State University show certified seed pays for itself at a mere one bushel per acre yield advantage, and a market price of no less than $3.50 per bushel. U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics show that certified seed out-yields bin-run varieties by 1.2-2.5 bushels an acre. With market prices at $7 or more a bushel or two yield advantage makes a substantial impact, reports the Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee.

Growers need to take into account the cost of bin-run seed, notes Hanavan. "First, if they weren't saving that seed, they'd be able to sell it for well over $7 per bushel. Then, there's the costs of cleaning, cleanout, labor, storage and interest, which adds over a dollar.

"When you think about $8 to $9 per bushel for bin-run seed, then consider the lower germination rate and the yield difference, certified seed simply makes greater economic sense."

Ripper, a new hard red winter wheat, is available from certified seed growers this year. Yield studies show that it out-yielded Tam 107 and Jagalene by an average of more than 6 bushels per acres in Colorado test plots this year.

Two- and three-year averages are equally impressive, says the Committee.

In on farm situations, Ripper often topped the farm average by five bushels per acre more, says he CWAC. Ripper proved its tolerance to drought this season by besting other new varieties such as Hawken, Tam 111, and Tam 112 by four bushels an acre, studies reveal.

If farmers are planting older varieties like Prairie Red, Tam 107 or Jagalene, they are leaving substantial income opportunities on the table, the committee believes.

To find out more about certified seed, and to locate a certified seed dealer, visit www.coloradowheat.org.