Did you know that when it comes to planting wheat, there is a lot of discussion and planning even before it is put into the ground? There are many issues and situations to think about before purchasing and planting a specific variety. At K-State Research and Extension, one of the many projects that we try to do for the community is to find a producer that is ready and willing to have a wheat variety plot on his land. The seed companies for the area including K-State usually donate the seed for the plot while the producer plants the wheat, and takes care of the plot like he does the rest of the field. He or she will fertilize it, spray for weeds or insects if needed, and harvest it. When it is harvested, it will usually be cut as an individual variety and weighed. This helps determine which variety performed the best on one piece of land in a given year. This year, Brian Bitter was gracious and planted the wheat plot for us. The plot was planted on September 30, right after we had received moisture. Since then, I have been going out to the field to observe it once it came out of the dormant stage.
On the site of the wheat plot, we have 14 different varieties plus a check variety to be able to compare and contrast. There are a few varieties that look to be doing well considering the drought, while other varieties have a thinner stand, and are not quite as thrifty. Overall, the plot is doing exactly what it is intended for. It is showing how well each variety is performing in this year’s challenging weather. Between the extremely cold periods that we experienced this winter, and the slow cool spring that we had to start off the growing season, the variety plot is demonstrating how the varieties have fared.
On May 14th, at 6pm, we will be having a wheat plot tour out at the site. Jim Shroyer, K-State Research and Extension’s Crop Production Specialist will be on hand to talk about the different varieties that were planted, and how they are producing in our area. He will also discuss the different situations and stressors for this year’s crop. The plot is located ½ mile north of Susank on the Susank blacktop (NE qtr of 20-16-13 Union Twp). Everyone is invited to attend, and are asked to RSVP to the Extension office at 620-793-1910 by Monday May 12th for a dinner count that will be sponsored by Great Bend Farm Equipment and American Ag Credit. Thank you for helping Barton County Extension to provide a meal after the tour for all of our participants.
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 email@example.com or calling 620-793-1910