As most people know, Kansas is the top wheat producing state in the USA. The first Kansas wheat crop was planted in Johnson County in 1839, since then, the yields farmers are able to harvest have more than doubled. This comes in part from universities and private companies breeding new varieties for better resistance to different pressures including fungal and bacterial. Newer varieties also have heat and drought resistance, which increase yields depending on what variety is planted in a given year. One way these organizations know how a wheat variety will perform is by planting it into a field in a plot with other varieties, and then seeing how they all measure up against each other.
This year, Brian Bitter played host to the wheat plot for Barton County K-State Research and Extension on his land 1 mile North of Susank on Susank Road. It was planted on Sept. 30, 2013, with a seeding rate of 80 lbs./acre, and a 10-20-0-0.5 Zn at 8 gallons/acre in furrow. The plot was then harvested on July 14, 2014. For the entire plot, the average yield was 32.7 bushels/acre (Bu/A) and the Test weight average was 57.2 Lbs. SY Southwind was the top variety at this plot site at 44.6 bu/A and a test weight of 57.1 lbs. In descending order from there was WB Redhawk, Fuller, 1863, AP503 CL2, Duster, Everest, WB Grainfield, Winterhawk, Armour, T-158, Denali, WB 4458, Everest and WB Cedar.
With the unusual weather patterns we have seen for the past few years, this information gives producers a starting point for the decision process on what they will want to plant this fall. If anyone would like a copy of the results, please contact me and I would be happy to get you a copy either by mail or e-mail. We will also have the 2014 State Variety trial publications at our office when they are finished compiling all of the information from around the State. Hopefully, that will be by the beginning of September for anyone to pick up and use to help make decisions for your next wheat crop.
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