This past week I was able to assist with planting the K-State Research and Extension wheat plot. David H Strecker offered to plant the demonstration plot on his mother’s land just south of Galatia. This year, David decided on sixteen different varieties plus a check strip on either side. David will treat this plot just like the rest of the field, monitoring growth, fertilizing, spraying, and keeping it growing like the field it is surrounded by. I will also monitor the plot, watch the different varieties and take note the ones that are faring the best on that field with the conditions we will have. Some of the specifications that we will pay attention to are the growth and maturity of the different varieties as well as how it handles the specific stressors that are present at the time, such as drought, winterkill, insects, and disease.
During the late spring, I will work with David and the KSRE specialists to have a field day. This is when growers from the area can listen to the specialists on the varieties planted and how they are developing, as well as get information about how those particular varieties are preforming around the area. It is also a time for the specialists to talk with the farmers about the current growing year and highlight issues that may be of concern to the area at that time.
At harvest time, we will harvest each individual variety and weigh it. We will see at that point which variety produced the best to the 2015 wheat season in Barton County. This data will go on to assist farmers when they are looking for what wheat seed to purchase for the following season.
These wheat plots are very important to have in our county. Thanks to David H. Strecker, we will have a plot that area farmers can watch grow, and see all of the varieties we planted side by side in the same field. Together with data from the wheat seed companies, and KSRE, we are helping the growers make the best decision possible on a variety that will produce well in our county, maximizing their ability to produce a profitable crop with the most current information out there.
Alicia Boor is the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Barton County K-State Research and Extension. You can contact her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 620-793-1910