Wheat production in the United Kingdom hovers just below 200, 000 hectares (about a half a million acres). It’s used for export markets, human consumption, and plays a key role in animal rations. Thanks in large part to the UK’s temperate climate, yields of 120bu/ac are not uncommon. And, as you’ll find in the following interview, even though spring wheat yields like that would make a Canadian farmer blush, that’s still well below the plant’s genetic potential.
Increasing nitrogen rates can actually prove detrimental if producers don’t also take the time to apply fungicides, says Peter Johnson, cereals specialist with Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. That’s because the resulting improvements in canopy can actually increase the potential for disease development. Enter the nitrogen/fungicide duo.
Potentially containing a mycotoxin known as DON (deoxynivalenol), fusarium-affected wheat can be a challenge to market, and a safety hazard to handle. But, new work suggests sorting tactics could help improve sample quality. Rex Newkirk is the vice president of research and innovation at Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI) and has been heavily involved in looking at how optical sorting and Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) could be used to upgrade wheat.
Herbicide resistant wild oats are pretty easy to identify, says Neil Harker, a research scientist in weed ecology and crop management at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lacombe Research Centre.
“You generally see them in patches. If you see [wild oats] in real straight lines, then you suspect a sprayer error, but if you just see them in little patches out there, you…can often assume – at least in Alberta – that they’re going to be resistant.”
Wheat School: Should Nutrition be Considered When Bringing Forward New Wheat Varieties?
While wheat breeders have traditionally focused on improving agronomic and milling characteristics of the crop, there’s value to be gained by the wheat industry in focusing on nutrition as well, says a cereal research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. In this follow-up, she describes some of the opportunities she sees in developing and commercializing wheat varieties on a nutritional basis.
Created February 5, 2015 | Category: Farming Tips