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Barton County offers wheat variety demonstration plot
Stacy Campbell
Stacy Campbell

Typically, wheat growers will keep back enough of their wheat seed to plant again, but also they may be looking to replace a variety in an effort to reduce seed-borne diseases and to improve genetics for various factors including but not limited to yield and disease prevention. 

Each year, many county agents put out wheat variety demonstration plots and conduct field days to view and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of varieties and wheat production issues. Most demonstration plots are also harvested.  

For further details of the cultural practices of the plot go to our web site at This demonstration wheat plot should not be used solely for making your variety selection decisions, it is more for showing and talking about the varieties each year at the field day.  

Instead, I would highly encourage growers to make your variety selection decisions based on the K-State Agricultural Experiment Stations replicated wheat performance tests. They are randomized replicated trials, meaning each variety is randomly planted in 4 different spots in the field, all seed is either foundation or registered. Replicated field trials will account for or smooth out the variability within a field, and thus are more accurate. These results from the Agricultural Experiment Stations can also be found on our website.  

Yield should not be the only consideration in your selection, and multiple years of data should be considered. This plot was not harvested in 2019, therefore there is not a three-year average. Some other important considerations are stripe & leaf rust resistance, drought tolerance, winter hardiness, straw strength, shattering reputation, maturity and test weight. Each grower may differ some in what is most important to them and may add other considerations not mentioned.

A good resource is “Wheat Variety Disease and Insect Ratings” publication that is updated yearly. It will be posted on our website as well, click onto Crops and Livestock, and look under Hot Topics. 

Many thanks to Great Bend Co-op, Ed Junior Farm and American Ag Credit; without their support we would not have had a plot this year. 

Stacy Campbell is an Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Cottonwood Extension District. Email him at scampbel@ksu.eduor call the Hays office, 785-628-9430.