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Agricultural News

OSU Wheat Researcher Brett Carver Honored by Wheat Quality Council

Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:09:47 CDT

OSU Wheat Researcher Brett Carver Honored by Wheat Quality Council Brett Carver, Oklahoma State University wheat researcher, earned the 2015 Millers Award from the Wheat Quality Council.

The honor annually recognizes the wheat breeder of the variety most well-liked by millers participating in the WQC's evaluation program.

"This award recognizes the comprehensive nature of variety development by the OSU Wheat Improvement Team, whereby we prioritize product quality as much as we do product quantity," said Carver, who noted the latter gets more attention because of an emphasis on extending and protecting yield potential in new varieties, but the former is just as important.

"However, it is the quality of that yield which actually determines to what degree a variety on the farm translates to food on the table," Carver said.

Carver earned the award after two OSU candidate varieties OK09125 and OK10126 rose to the top of a pool of approximately 30 new varieties entered in the WQC's voluntary evaluation program. Millers from across the nation tested the varieties to determine the winner.

Carver, a Regents professor in wheat breeding and genetics and the wheat genetics chair in agriculture in the OSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, leads the OSU Wheat Improvement Team, an interdisciplinary team of nine OSU researchers established in 1998.

WIT engages in cutting-edge research and development as well as outreach to Oklahoma wheat producers through the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.

Carver said he recognized early on WIT had the potential to do something special for Oklahoma agriculture based on the team's talent and expertise.

"In sports talk, we may not have the deepest bench in the league, but the ones in the field are as good as it gets," he said. "Of course, all this rah-rah about scientific talent would not be realized by Oklahoma farmers without the continual and dedicated financial commitment provided by the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and its key stakeholders (investors). In that respect, we have a dandy front office."

Looking ahead, WIT's slate will include a renewed commitment to producing a broad-utility hard red winter wheat variety aimed at grain and cattle producers as well as providing more genetic insurance against early spring freezes.

"WIT also wants to provide the right genetics for Oklahoma wheat producers to participate in domestic and foreign markets demanding hard white wheat," Carver said. "Finally, I believe we have some new genetics that raise the bar for yield protection in the form of disease and insect resistance."

Carver, who also won the Millers Award in 2000, was formally recognized at the WQC annual meeting in Kansas City earlier this year.

Oklahoma is one of the top wheat-producing states in the nation. The state's largest cash crop, wheat's revenue potential eclipses $1 billion in some years.



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