OSU's Dr. Brett Carver Says We're Not Just Grain Farmers, We're Food Crop ProducersWed, 12 Feb 2020 16:48:05 CST
During his address at the Oklahoma Genetics, Inc. annual meeting Wednesday in Edmond, Dr. Brett Carver , Regents Professor at Oklahoma State University and holder of the Wheat Genetics Chair in Agriculture, said he wants wheat farmers to think of themselves as food producers. He contends that we are doing much more than just raising a grain crop- but rather we are producing food- using a crop that has fed mankind for centuries.
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director, Ron Hays spoke with Dr. Carver after his presentation and you can hear their conversation by clicking on the listen bar below.
Dr. Carver said he is focusing all of his research on bringing out the best qualities in wheat. “I know it’s not easy to grow wheat,” said Carver. “We’re trying to put a biological insurance in that will allow wheat to withstand what Mother Nature throws at us.” Carver said under the right climate conditions, wheat has the potential to produce 100 to 150 bushels to the acre.
One of the big challenges Carver faces today is finding solutions that meet the needs of both farmers and consumers. In recent years there has been a lot of information about the gluten in today’s varieties creating more issues with gluten intolerance than the older wheat varieties. Carver said that just isn’t true.
At the OGI meeting Carver talked about the results of a new multi-year study that showed there is no increase in gluten. “Modern varieties have not increased gluten insensitivity,” said Carver.
The study compared wheat varieties first developed at the beginning of plant breeding beginning with the now famous Turkey variety, to today’s modern varieties. “Modern plant breeding has not done anything to cause heightened sensitivity to gluten,” said Carver.
The OSU wheat breeder noted they want to increase, not decrease gluten strength. Improved wheat functionality is what the wheat millers want in order to meet the growing consumer demand.
Carver announced they are getting close to releasing a new wheat variety for the Panhandle region showing good resistance to wheat streak mosaic, and downstate we are looking at a possible new release that offers resistance to barley yellow dwarf disease."
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