OSU Wheat Breeding Program Success Demonstrative of Return on Investment to State's FarmersTue, 11 Apr 2017 15:59:26 CDT
During a meeting at the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Oklahoma State University State Wheat Breeder Dr. Brett Carver, who presented to the group today on the most recent work being conducted by his team, particularly about the great success had by the program lately. You can listen to Hays and Carver talk at today’s OWC meeting about his recent work with wheat varieties, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of this story.
“I was a little bit surprised to see - ecstatic to see it actually, that the varieties are being adopted,” Carver said referring to a list of the top wheat varieties planted in Oklahoma this year, featuring varieties from his program in the top six places listed. “The new ones are really being picked up and utilized. I’m just tickled to death to see that.”
The tremendous response producers across the state are having to these varieties, Carver says, is testament to the success of the program at OSU and that there truly is a return on the investment being made. After nearly 20 years, Dr. Carver insists his team’s innovation to serve the needs of growers on the Southern Plains, who require crops that can handle the graze and grain utility, has been the key to their success.
“We decided long ago that we couldn’t just breed the varieties like we always have and test them for that ability to be adopted to this, the dual-purpose system,” he said. “it’s engrained into the breeding system. It’s part of our heritage. It’s part of our philosophy and it’s here to stay.”
In demonstration of that mission, Carver and his team have an extensive amount of testing underway for the next generation of wheat varieties, with 13 different experimental varietals currently plotted and under evaluation. In fact, you can find out more on these varieities being tested, by attending a wheat plot tour. Click here to check out all the dates and locations of these tours being hosted by OSU, on our website's calendar of events.
“That doesn’t reflect the inability to make a decision,” Carver joked. “It does reflect a very big pipeline… All those lines have merit in way or another.”
And while one truly never knows what is coming down the pipeline, Carver does insist that he would like to see OSU’s wheat breeding program remain independent, but at the same time, he does not want to limit the program’s ability to interact with other programs that could help to advance their genetics to better serve Oklahoma’s farmers.
“We’d like to be a part of that hybrid wheat development without actually having to produce a breed the actual hybrid cultivar,” he said, but concludes that regardless of the program’s involvement, the main goal under Carver’s watch is that if the product does not suit the needs of the end user, then it is not acceptable.
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