The Buzz

Wheat Day roundup. Bill Spiegel

Published on: May 31, 2004

The Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers voted to proceed with consolidation efforts at last week's Kansas Wheat Day in Hays. Details are still to be ironed out, but essentially, the two groups plan to combine staff and building, have a single administrator and KAWG would contract with the KWC to carry out its mission: which focuses on lobbying efforts. The KWC uses checkoff monies for its mission, which includes increasing productivity and profitability through research, education and market development, while KAWG uses membership dues and donations as funding. More details will be in the July issue of Kansas Farmer…

  • With wheat harvest looming, it is tough to gauge the excellence of this year's crop. At last week's Kansas Wheat Day in Hays, members of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers gave brief updates on wheat fields in their area.
  • Near Sharon Spring, Ray Smith missed a mid-May hailstorm, but not a mid-May freeze. The wheat crop in his area and throughout western Kansas is poor. At Brookville, Joe Kejr says some wheat fields could be as good as last year's, but the entire crop is not as consistent. Near Hillsboro, Paul Penner adds that the wheat crop is turning color already, and the wheat crop could be average to good…
  • Penner says some farmers near Kiowa were planning to begin harvest over Memorial Day weekend...
  • K-State wheat breeder Joe Martin reports the discovery of a new virus that looks like wheat-streak mosaic, but isn't. The virus – not identified yet by Martin or plant pathologist Dallas Seifers – affects random plants, causing leaves to yellow. Every new leaf on the plant is green, but as new leaves emerge, the previous ones die, Martin explains. No kernels develop in diseased plants...
  • This virus has been noticed in fields throughout western Kansas, says Martin, who works at K-State's Hays Agricultural Research Center...
  • There is no doubt that Jagger – the state's top-planted wheat variety for the last several years – has a weakening disease package. K-State's Overley variety, due for widespread release this fall, has a sound leaf rust package and possesses Jagger-like yield characteristics, Martin says...
  • A couple of new hard white wheat varieties could be released. They don't have names yet, but look for improved sprouting resistance, yield and mill and bake qualities from the next lineup from Martin's greenhouses...
  • Entomologist J.P. Michaud has seen an influx of wheat head armyworms in insect traps this spring, signaling the wheat-damaging moth's likely return to wheat fields this summer. Michaud says it is hard to estimate the impact, but the moth typically will stay within the outside boundary of a wheat field...
  • Finally, if you've seen an increase in the amount of wild rye in wheat fields this summer, you may be interested to note that the Clearfield system of weed control appears to work on rye, so long as the Clearfield herbicide, Beyond, is applied in the fall. Weed specialist Phil Stahlman says 90+% control is available with fall application, as opposed to less than 60% for spring application of Beyond. Clearfield wheat varieties include AgriPro's AP302CL and Colorado State University's Above...
  • Beyond did not work as well on jointed goatgrass; drought conditions in Stahlman's experimental fields caused failure of the herbicide. Stahlman notes this is the first year that Beyond did not work in jointed goatgrass.