May 2, 2001 | By: Laura Skillman

Conventional and no-till wheat trials, head scab resistance research and an update on managing Italian ryegrass in wheat are among the topics to be discussed at the University of Kentucky Wheat Field Day on Tuesday, May 15 at the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton. Tours begin at 9 a.m.

The field day generally attracts about 100 farmers and crop advisors wanting to learn the latest information available on research efforts by the UK Wheat Science Group.

"I think one of the reasons producers enjoy coming is that they get to discuss these things while on the wagon or visiting," said Lloyd Murdock, a UK Extension agronomist at Princeton.

One field day session will review conventional and no-till variety trials. These trials, conducted by UK wheat breeder Dave Van Sanford, have been under way for several years.

"We are getting information from them on which varieties respond and which do not to conventional and no-till planting," Murdock said. "It's kind of interesting that there's not much difference in yields and varieties. It is useful information that people have wondered about in the past."

Another area that will be reviewed by John Grove, a UK agronomist, is how and why using no-till wheat in a no-till crop rotation is helpful.

"Those will be things that farmers will be interested in," Murdock said.

Head scab resistance and fungicides to control the disease are being studied at UKREC by Van Sanford and Don Hershman, UK Extension pathologist. The work includes a scab nursery that is used to simulate perfect conditions for the disease's growth.

Head scab is one of the biggest problems in Kentucky. The disease attacks the grain head not allowing it to fill properly resulting in a shriveled seed that can be susceptible to other problems such as vomitoxin.

UK Extension Weed Science Specialists James Martin and Bill Witt will discuss ongoing research on managing Italian ryegrass in wheat. Ryegrass can be a real problem because it is a strong competitor in fields with wheat. In some areas of Kentucky ryegrass is becoming a real problem. They will discuss traditional practices and potential future options.

Other field day topics include the latest research on spring and summer insect control; a review of a new chlorophyll meter; and research information on just how perfect a wheat stand has to be.

People attending the field day can receive 3.5 hours of Certified Crop Advisor credit, 2 hours in crop management and 1.5 in integrated pest management. The Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association will provide lunch.

For more information, contact Dottie Call, Wheat Science Group coordinator, at (270) 365-7541 ext. 234 or e-mail at


Lloyd Murdock, (270) 365-7541