Michigan Wheat Industry Research Priorities              

Submitted by:
Michigan Wheat Program

Contact Information:
P.O. Box 25065
Lansing, Ml 48909    
517-625-9432 (WHEA)
Fax: 517-625-6061
Email: info@miwheat.org

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. 

Agronomic practices

  • 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.

Pest management

  • 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