BUSHLAND, TX (KFDA) - On May 17, Texas A&M AgriLife Research held their Wheat Field Day event in Bushland to highlight wheat variety research.
More than 40 percent of the states wheat is grown in the Panhandle, and the group is working to find wheat varieties that have high yields along with drought and insect resistance through research at 13 different locations.
"So, that really gives us an opportunity to look at the varieties stability, how it performs under different environmental conditions as well as different management conditions, and that's what we ultimately want to share with the producers," Jourdan Bell, Regional Extension Agronomist. "We want to provide producers with varieties that are stable and that are going to perform consistently well regardless of environmental conditions."
In the 1940s, farmers produced about 11 bushels per acre. Thanks to research like this, they now produce 36 bushels per acre.
"What we do, is develop new varieties, but it's also the management of those varieties," said Jackie Rudd, Wheat Breeding Professor. "So, each year is different, we went through strong drought years in 2011 through 2014. In 2015, it started to rain and we got some stripe rust on the wheat. We use any environment that we get, and it's a long ten year process to develop a new variety."
Although yields are doing well, about 2 million fewer acres have been planted this year in Texas.
This is because producers are now looking to grow other crops for profit, but wheat professions say this should not be alarming for consumers, as they will not see price increases in wheat products at this time.
"So, although our wheat acres in Texas and production levels may go up and down, we are able to provide the consumers a steady supply of an affordable wheat produce. No matter if we have a great year in Texas or even a poor year, we are able to maintain that supply," said Steelee Fischbacher, Director of policy and marketing for Texas Wheat.
If you want to learn more about the AgriLife Research you can visit their website.