Michigan Wheat Industry Research Priorities
The goal of the Michigan Wheat Program is to improve the profitability of wheat production by increasing grain yields, promoting cost-effective production inputs, and addressing threats to grain quality. The MWP recognizes the need for conducting applied research; assessing and understanding markets and potential markets; developing and delivering information and educational programs; and encouraging communications and collaboration within the production sector and between industry partners. The following are some priority research and educational objectives by category.
- improve the efficiency and management of nitrogen fertilizer; identify plant nutrients that may be limiting grain yields; refine management practices to improve wheat establishment;
- promote sound harvesting practices to minimize harvest losses and optimize grain quality; study the use and benefits of cover crops;
- measure the effects of crop rotations on the performance of wheat and subsequent crops; assess the interaction of planting dates, fertilization, and seeding practices;
- identify differences in varietal response to agronomic inputs; evaluate opportunities for double cropping; monitoring/researching water quality issues ;
- develop a network of cooperators willing to participate in on-farm research; identify varieties and practices advantageous to growers who have soils that are less
- conducive to wheat (i.e. poorly drained or excessively droughty) or who are located in the northern lower peninsula;
- study seasonal weather patterns to help explain and predict the variability of wheat yields and quality in a given season; and to identify management strategies that could potentially mitigate adverse weather effects.
- evaluate the efficacy of fungicides, herbicides and insecticides; develop management strategies to mitigate losses due to pests; identify and assess diseases threatening wheat;
- evaluate the interaction of pesticides, varieties and agronomic practices;
- develop strategies to manage Fusarium head scab to insure a quality product for end-users.
Variety development and evaluation
- identify new public and private varieties that may prove beneficial to MI growers; evaluate the response of wheat lines and varieties to high management practices; develop superior varieties exhibiting greater yield potential, disease resistance and grain quality;
- initiate or collaborate on efforts that address the quality losses due to Fusarium head scab, Preharvest sprouting and late maturity amylase activity.
Marketing, economic and production analysis
- identify financially feasible production and marketing practices; understand current markets and their potential/saturation; understand the flow of MI wheat in the marketplace;
- disseminate information regarding current market trends and marketing strategies; explore new market uses;
- explore new markets including niche markets;
- explore options for developing markets to serve MI companies;
- identify and summarize current production practices employed by MI growers.
Education and outreach activities
- develop and implement strategies to expedite the adoption of sound and profitable practices; develop educational products such as bulletins, fact sheets, research summaries, and powerpoint presentations that address issues related to a profitable wheat industry;
- identify and implement methods that promote information delivery;
- supply cutting edge information to growers to make economically sound production decisions;
- share sound information with growers regarding potential new markets and opportunities; assist growers in participating in on-farm research;
- encourage participation in the national wheat yield contest as a means to identify key management practices of high-yield producing farmers.
Updated September 2018