State Wheat Specialist Dave Marburger Reviews OSU's '17 Wheat Tour as Harvest Kicks Off in OKMon, 22 May 2017 12:40:45 CDT
During last week’s celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Historic Magruder Test Plots at Oklahoma State University, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn caught with Dave Marburger, Oklahoma’s state wheat specialist, to discuss the site’s contribution to plant and soil science as well as his thoughts on the discussions surrounding this year’s tour of OSU’s wheat plots around the state. You can listen to their entire conversation discussing the Magruder plots, harvest and more, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below, at the bottom of this story.
According to Marburger, the Magruder plots are the longest continual wheat experiment in the world, and the second longest-running experiment west of the Mississippi River. Established by and named for A.C. Magruder, the first agricultural professor at the university when it was still called Oklahoma A&M, the test plots began in 1892 on campus where today, Stout Hall stands. Marburger says as the university expanded, the plots were in fact carefully excavated in 1947, and relocated to where they are currently, west of the Stillwater campus on the OSU Agronomy Research Farm. This year marks 125 continuous years that the plots have been under use, for research on the effects of fertilizer in wheat.
This event was the centerpiece of this year’s wheat tour consisting of 22 stops across the state, hosted by OSU’s wheat team.
“We’ve been talking a lot about varieties, lot of options out there and moving forward with all of our companies and the development that they’re doing,” Marburger explained. “In terms of the crop condition… I just hope we can get it in the bin before Mother Nature takes it from us. This past seven days or so has been pretty rough in some areas - laying a lot of wheat down. But, hopefully we’ll get some good weather coming up here soon, dry things out so we can get combines rolling.”
Early reports show harvest has begun in Oklahoma already in South central Oklahoma, and beginning to spread into the Southwestern part of the state as well now.
“Don’t have any good indication yet on where the protein levels are,” he said. “We need some more bushels to come in before we start making comments there.”
Bets are still being made as to how production will turn out with this crop. Oklahoma’s wheat community first guessed the total harvest would come in at 100 million bushels a few weeks ago. The United States Department of Agriculture followed that guess with its own estimate of 89 million bushels, predicting less harvested acres than what Oklahoman’s figured in.
“It’ll come down to those harvested acres,” Marburger agreed. “I think it’s going to probably be somewhere in that ballpark - maybe a little bit closer to what the USDA is estimating. But, I think there’s going to be some pretty good yields out there overall.”
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