Michigan wheat farmers are invited to attend the March 11th Winter Grower Meeting hosted by the Michigan Wheat Program at Eagle Eye Golf Club just north of East Lansing.
The agenda for the one-day meeting is packed with top-notch presentations from Kentucky-based Wheat Tech, Inc., President, Chris Bowley, the National Association of Wheat Growers President Bing Von Bergen and numerous wheat researchers from Michigan State University. US Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, has been invited to give an update on the stalled Farm Bill and what it means for growers.
An important and early priority of the two-year-old MWP has been research to improve yields, quality and profitability for wheat growers in Michigan, the nation's 12th-largest wheat producing state.
"Michigan wheat farmers have many market opportunities for increased production, and wheat makes good sense in a crop rotation," says Jody Pollok-Newsom, executive director of the MWP. "Yet farmers want to see higher yields, fewer quality risks and greater profitability per acre before rotating more land away from corn and soybeans into winter wheat. And processors need more acreage planted to meet current and expanding value-added wheat product requests."
Many grower concerns about wheat are being addressed through research funded by MWP, and several of those areas will be addressed at the 2014 Winter Meeting including:
- "Palisade Plant Growth Regulator Plot Results," by MSU Extension wheat specialist, Martin Nagelkirk;
- "Micronutrient Deficiencies in Wheat," by Dr. Kurt Steinke, MSU Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences (DPSMS);
- "Control of Windgrass in Wheat," by weed specialist Dr. Christy Sprague, MSU DPSMS;
- "High-Yielding Wheat," by Chris Bowley of Wheat Tech, Inc., of Russelville, Kentucky;
- and an update on accomplishments to date and future plans on wheat cultivars by Eric Olson, recently hired as the MSU wheat breeder.
Marketing opportunities for Michigan wheat will be discussed by a panel of millers and other end users; and by Mark Feight, president of the International Agribusiness Group, LLC, of Farmington Hills. A perspective on the national wheat scene will be presented by Montana wheat grower Bing Von Bergen, currently President of the National Association of Wheat Growers based in Washington, DC.
The conference takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Eagle Eye Golf Course, 15500 Chandler Rd., Bath Township. RUP and CCA credits are available. There is no cost to attend the program, although advance registration is required to ensure lunch is available for all attendees. The registration form is available at www.miwheat.org.
The Michigan Wheat Program is funded by nearly 8,000 farmers who grow wheat in 50 of Michigan's 83 counties. MWP's board seeks to promote the state's wheat industry by funding and supporting the strategic priorities of wheat farmers working with input suppliers, seed producers, millers, end users and consumers. Research on wheat production practices and grower education has been an early priority for the organization.
Information about Michigan's wheat industry is found at www.miwheat.org, or by calling 888-WHEAT01 (888-943-2801).