June 23, 2024

Wheat Rx School coming to Hays

Wheat farmers looking for hope and ideas for future growing seasons can head over to Hays for the next Wheat Rx school on May 25, 2023. The program will discuss the long-term research studies conducted at the K-State Agricultural Research Center and provide the opportunity to tour the various plots at the facility before ending with a noon meal.

“The research plots at the K-State Agricultural Research Center in Hays provide valuable information on the long-term agronomic characteristics of Kansas wheat varieties as well as the genetics moving through the wheat breeding pipeline,” said Aaron Harries, vice president of research and operations for Kansas Wheat. “This location is perfect for growers to learn about the latest research findings for suggested management practices to economically and sustainably produce wheat in Kansas and see those research plots for themselves.”

The Wheat Rx schools are part of a partnership between the Kansas Wheat Commission and K-State Research and Extension to disseminate the latest research recommendations for high-yielding and high-quality wheat to Kansas wheat farmers. The Hays program includes a stacked agenda of expertise.

Guorong Zhang, a K-State wheat breeder based in Hays, will walk attendees through the breeding plots and discuss up-and-coming genetics for wheat varieties for western Kansas. He’ll also talk about Wheat Streak Mosaic disease research and improvement of wheat quality.

At the facility’s long-term fertility and rotation plots, Augustine Obour, K-State associate professor of soil science, will discuss what researchers have learned after 48 years of tillage and nitrogen fertility management research. He’ll also discuss the challenges of long-term no-tillage systems despite improvements in soil properties.

As attendees peruse the wheat agronomy plots, Romulo Lollato, K-State wheat and forage extension specialist, will discuss the intensification of wheat production for combined food security and environmental stewardship, the role of wheat agronomy for simultaneously improving yield and quality, and producing more wheat with a lower environmental footprint.

With field examples at their feet, Kelsey Andersen Onofre, K-State assistant professor of plant pathology, will provide an update on wheat disease and management. Finally, Lucas Haag, K-State northwest area crops and soil scientist, will present the economics of wheat production.

“Wheat producers put considerable thought into their decisions throughout the growing season that impact that final harvest,” Harries said. “Our goal is to share the latest research, funded in part by farmers’ investments through their checkoff dollars, to help maximize profitability through management.”

The May 25 Wheat Rx School will be held at the KSU Agricultural Research Center, 1232 240th Ave., Hays, KS 67601, from 8 a.m to noon. Attendance at the event will be free; however, registration is required.

In addition to educational programs like the event in May, Wheat Rx also includes a series of Extension publications and other educational outreach materials designed to address key management areas of hard winter wheat. These publications contain recent data based on novel research funded in part by wheat farmers through the Kansas Wheat Commission’s two-cent wheat assessment. Find out more or register for the Wheat Rx events at https://kswheat.com/wheatrx.