Battle Ground, Indiana, USA
June 15, 2012
Wheat distributors from Illinois, Indiana and Ohio were joined by seed growers from as far north as Michigan and as far south as Kentucky at field days held at the LCS Genesis Research Station in Battle Ground, Indiana on May 31 and June 1, 2012.
“We were pleased to host an elite group of all the major seed wheat distributors in the upper Midwest,” said Dr. Don Obert, Soft Red Winter Wheat Breeder for LCS. “Growers were excited to see that we have developed wheat varieties with precisely the characteristics they’re looking for.”
What are wheat farmers looking for this year? According to Dr. Obert, earlier harvest and resistance to Stripe Rust are top of the list.
Upper Midwest growers are looking for early maturing varieties that can be double cropped. Double cropping is common from Kentucky southwards, but is a marginal practice in much of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Northern growers want varieties that will reliably allow them to grow two crops in a single year. “A wheat variety that can be harvested in early June provides an excellent entry for a second crop, usually soybeans,” Obert said.
LCS Regional Sales Manager Ken McClintock will shortly announce two new LCS varieties to meet that need. These new varieties are already in foundation seed production and will be ready for multiplication this fall. They will be widely available to farmers in 2013.
In addition to the search for earlier varieties, wheat farmers in the Midwest are concerned by problems similar to their counterparts further west – Stripe Rust has been a major challenge this year. “Stripe Rust epidemics may be an issue for growers,” Dr. Obert said, “but they are helpful to breeders who are looking for varieties with good resistance. We are confident that this year’s disease levels will enable us to deliver superior varieties to growers in the future.”
“Our research programs are devoted to producing superior varieties that help farmers overcome the challenges they face from disease and weather,” Obert said. “We have assembled a crack team of breeders who are committed to producing varieties that will help farmers profit under all conditions -- and we are now recruiting top quality distributors to deliver them.”