Wheat producers and industry people got a chance to check out some cutting edge wheat technology, May 7, at the Beaufort County Wheat Field Day outside of Pantego, North Carolina.
Field plots showed the results of various applications of crop protection chemicals and fertilizers on wheat. And some of the highest interest shown by growers at the field day was in wheat variety plots, where growers could compare the latest varieties side by side.
The plots were put in by university extension specialists and local N.C. Cooperative Extension agent Gaylon Ambrose of the Northeast District, headquartered in Beaufort.
Some of these projects such as the variety evaluations are ongoing and are quite extensive, Ambrose notes.
"Then there are some plots or trials that were set up in response to grower requests," Ambrose says. "Growers have requested information and evaluations on things like popup fertilizers on wheat and we've tried to include those where we can."
Both farmers and crop consultants requested tests on performance of foliar fungicides on wheat this year. Beaufort County is home to a number of wheat seed producers and some of the tests were designed to accommodate these specialized producers. Seed conditioners requested information on evaluation of seed treatments.
"We also compared some different cropping systems or management systems for the production of wheat," Ambrose adds.
Ambrose notes the wheat crop is looking very good in North Carolina this year. If the crop holds up through the rest of the season as hoped it will be the second year in a row of superior yields for wheat farmers.
"It is going to be hard to duplicate the crop we had last year because we had one of the best crops of wheat ever in our area in 2008," Ambrose says. "However, if the crop falls short of last year it will still be a good crop.
Two good wheat crops in a row can be seen as a lucky draw in the weather, agrees Ambrose.
"But while it is in part the result of good weather it is also the result of good planning on the part of the growers, in terms of picking out varieties, using good fertilizer practices and making use other good production practices in general," he adds. "We also have seen some improvements in recent years in the quality our varieties."