December 20, 2000 | By: Laura Skillman

Farmers can learn more about using wheat in their cropping system at a daylong seminar Jan. 5 at the University of Kentucky Research and Education Center in Princeton.

The program, held every January, is designed to bring the latest wheat research, information and trends to growers, said Lloyd Murdock, University of Kentucky Extension agronomist.

The morning session will focus on what farmers need to consider when making crop rotation decisions. The traditional rotation in Kentucky has been corn-soybeans, or corn-wheat- soybeans, but those rotations are being altered with changes in federal farm legislation, Murdock said.

"We wanted to look at some of these rotations," he said. "If you go more toward one crop, there will be an effect on yields, diseases, insects, and fertility. This will mean that farmers will have to make some management changes. So we wanted to look at some of the problems producers might face and the needed management changes.

"This is an opportunity for us as a university to address some of the things that might be coming down the pike," he said.

The morning segment includes discussions on the changing government programs and the economics of enterprise selection; agronomic effects on yields, nutrient management changes; insect pressures; weed and disease implications.

A farmer panel will close out the morning section by discussing why they are, or are not, changing their rotations and what changes they are making.

In the afternoon, the focus will shift to new research and opportunities in wheat. The results of on-farm no-till wheat research, the beneficial effects of no tillage on soil structure and yields of different crops in a rotation will also be discussed.

White wheat and what opportunities it may have for Kentucky farmers is also on the agenda. There is an indication by agronomists, especially breeders, that white wheat could become the norm rather than red wheat, Murdock said.

Although opportunities are limited now in Kentucky for white wheat, the future is optimistic because it is tastier to the consumer based on taste tests, he said.

Crop insurance as a risk management tool and the outlook for wheat in the coming year will round out the agenda.

The program is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is free. Lunch will be provided by the Kentucky Small Grain Growers' Association. There will be 2.5 Certified Crop Advisor credits hours available in pest management and crop management.

For more information on the wheat program contact Dottie Call at (270) 365-7541 ext. 234.


Lloyd Murdock, (270) 365-7541 ext. 207; Dottie Call, (270) 365-7541 ext. 234