State Wheat Breeder Brett Carver Shares Vision for the Future of OSU’s Wheat Improvement ProgramFri, 16 Aug 2019 10:37:35 CDT
Oklahoma State Wheat Breeder and Chair of the Oklahoma Wheat Improvement Team at Oklahoma State University Dr. Brett Carver led a discussion at Wednesday’s joint-meeting of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission and Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association in El Reno, reviewing the results of the program’s 2019 wheat variety trials and the direction in which the program is headed. During the event, he sat down with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn to expound on his vision for the program moving forward. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“Every year I think, well… I don’t know if it can get any better than this. But, then the data comes in from the field and it verifies what I saw in the field and this year is just really exciting to see the different directions I think we could move the program,” Carver said. “I like varieties that can respond to multiple needs - not just the same need of yield and test weight. That’s ok, that will keep us busy. But, there’s certain parts of that I think we can tease apart and make that yield and quality even better.”
In chasing that goal, Carver says the program’s diversity is driven by the state’s different environments. Each region of the state, Carver explains, has a unique environment that suits different varieties and different classes of wheat, making it necessary for Carver and his team to pursue many different varieties that can cater to the various challenges found across Oklahoma. Through that process, Carver says from time to time, he is able to identify where the program has allowed “gaps” to form in its work. Among those gaps that currently exist in his mind, are four or five specific areas he says he would like to see bridged in the near future. Specifically, Carver includes on that list 1.) developing a beardless variety that qualifies for yield and baking contests; 2.) developing Wheat Streak Mosaic resistant genetics derived from Mace; 3.) developing true Barley Yellow Dwarf resistance; 4.) developing a Doublestop CL+ alternative; and 5.) developing a hard white variety that “rocks” red.
“Hard white… I think we need to be in that business,” Carver remarked enthusiastically. “We need to have more genetics - a better diversity of genetics and genetics that work for Oklahoma to enable that wheat class to take off like it should.”
At present, Carver is confident that one variety in particular, OK12206, shows a lot of promise in delivering those characteristics. Carver believes that based on its performance trials, it could potentially even be that Doublestop contender he has been searching for - although he wants to continue observing it before any definite decisions are made regarding its advancement. Regarding the program itself, though, Carver says he encourages producers to offer their feedback on the varieties that have been released in order to help guide the overall direction in which he leads the team. Carver says the success of the program is ultimately determined in terms of adoption.
“The success comes in adoption. It really doesn’t do any good to breed up these varieties if nobody’s going to adopt them,” he said. “And, that to me is humbling of course. But, it’s also a statement saying ‘do what you’ve been doing, because it’s working.’ And, we’re going to continue doing what we’re doing but maybe tweak it along the way so we can do it even better.”
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