Wheat Commissioners Report Generally Good Wheat Crop Conditions in OK Despite Soggy WeatherThu, 24 Jan 2019 12:30:12 CST
The commissioners of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission gathered in Stillwater, Oklahoma this week for their January Board Meeting. Prior to the commencement of the meeting, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn sat down to speak with three of the five commissioners, including Chairman David Gammill of Chattanooga; Vice Chairman Don Scheiber of Ponca City; and District 3 Commissioner Michael Peters of Okarche. You can listen to the complete remarks made by these three commissioners, with Horn, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
In addition to the board meeting, the group also toured the facilities used by the Oklahoma Wheat Improvement Team, a program that the Commission is highly invested in. Gammill, as Commission Chairman, remarked on the significance of the work being done by the Wheat Improvement Team.
“The farmers have to put money in in order to make progress and this one of the chief places that we can do it,” Gammill said. “We’ve got highly qualified experts here at OSU and they have results like nobody else in the world and it’s well worth our time to put money into this area.”
Peters agreed with Gammill, adding that the research being conducted by the program leader, Dr. Brett Carver and his team, not only improves the quality of the wheat being produced but also helps eliminate the risks involved in growing wheat.
“We all know the environment is changing with different diseases coming on that we have to fight, and they do great work with bringing up varieties that are resistant to those diseases and insects - it’s something we have to constantly keep up with,” Peters said. “We’re also looking at what our overseas buyers are wanting. They want that quality and different things like flavor profiles. It’s really amazing the work they are doing for us and in order to do that research, it takes time. But, it also takes investment.”
In speaking with the commissioners, Horn was able to acquire a sense of the condition that the current wheat crop is in at this early juncture in the growth stage. Based on all that was said, the consensus is that this year has shaped up a bit differently then what has been seen the last few years in regard specifically to the copious amount of moisture in the state.
While the commissioners agreed with one another that wheat fields and pastures across the state were in generally good condition, the moisture has created very soggy conditions and limited growth progress. In addition, there were several that reported a significant number of farmers in their areas that planted late in the season, which has also contributed to the short stands.
Don Scheiber reported that much of Kay County where he farms, was put into alternative crops, predominantly soybeans. He says, too, that farmers near him increased their planting rates to compensate for a lack of viable tillers. His worry is that despite the ample moisture now, fields are still at risk of drying up later in the season when moisture is truly necessary.
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