Texas: Panhandle Wheat Tour, Bushland, May 22

    Wheat variety trials. Photo: Shannon Baker, Texas AgriLife Extension

    Texas A&M AgriLife is trying something different in the Panhandle this year; it will take the semi-annual wheat field day on the road May 22, organizers said.

    The free event will begin by boarding the bus at 7:30 a.m. at the Porter Wheat Building at the Conservation and Production Laboratory west of Bushland. The lab is operated by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service.

    “Traditionally, we would stay right on the research station,” said Dr. Jackie Rudd, AgriLife Research wheat breeder, Amarillo. “But this year, we want to reach out to more producers and industry associates by taking the message from our wheat breeders, agronomists and other specialists to them in actual farmer fields.”

    The tour will feature different management and input practices at three of the High Plains variety trial field sites and a triticale field, said Dr. Jourdan Bell, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomist, Amarillo.

    After visiting the AgriLife Research wheat nursery at Bushland, those who want to ride the bus will head to high-input, irrigated yield trials and a triticale field near Dalhart, followed by dryland yield trials near Groom.

    The bus will return to Bushland by 6 p.m. Seats are limited, so those planning to ride should call 806-677-5600 to reserve a seat on the bus.

    “We want to invite everyone to join us on the bus for the whole day, or just make plans to meet us at any of the locations,” Rudd said.

    Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units will be offered at the Dalhart and Groom stops. For more information or specific field locations, contact AgriLife Extension agents Mike Bragg, Dallam County, 806-244-4434, or Jody Bradford, Carson County, 806-537-3882.

    Breakfast burritos and coffee will be provided at Bushland. Those riding the bus will receive nutritional snacks made by AgriLife Extension family and community health agents as well as a boxed lunch. Sponsors include Texas Wheat Producers, WestBred, Syngenta and Warner Seeds Inc.

    At each stop, Rudd will introduce the new TAM wheat varieties, TAM 115 and TAM 205. A drone demonstration, time and weather permitting, will be provided by Shannon Baker, AgriLife Research associate, Amarillo.

    In addition, wheat trivia will be provided on each leg of the bus trip by Darby Campsey, Texas Wheat Producers director of communications and producer relations, Amarillo.

    Other program topics and speakers, as well as estimated times, include:

    Bushland stop, 7:30-9 a.m.:

    • Breeder variety trials, Rudd and other breeders or seed company representatives.

    On the bus to Dalhart:

    • Milling and baking qualities for flour and whole-wheat products, Dr. Audrey Girard, AgriLife Research associate research scientist, College Station.
    • Panhandle Milling business/operations, Sara Ballou, Panhandle Milling grain merchandiser, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.

    Dallam County stop, 10:30 a.m.-noon:

    • Variety trials in a high-input, irrigated production system, Dr. Clark Neely, AgriLife Extension state small grains specialist, College Station, and seed company representatives.
    • Wheatlage trial, seeding rate trial, Bell.
    • Fungicide considerations for irrigated wheat, Dr. Ken Obasa, AgriLife Extension plant pathologist, Amarillo.

    Triticale field near Conlen, 1-1:30 p.m.:

    • Triticale variety development, Jason Baker, AgriLife Research senior research associate, Amarillo.
    • Nutritional value of wheat and triticale silage, Dr. Juan Pineiro, AgriLife Extension dairy specialist, Amarillo.

    On the bus to Groom:

    • Wheat genetic research, Dr. Shuyu Liu, AgriLife Research wheat geneticist, Amarillo.
    • Linking Texas A&M’s wheat breeding program to seed companies, Lileen Coulloudon, Texas Foundation Seed Service, Vernon.
    • Wheat drought research, Dr. Qingwu Xue, AgriLife Research crop stress physiologist, Amarillo.
    • Entomology concerns in wheat, Dr. Ed Bynum, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Amarillo.

    Groom stop, 4-5 p.m.:

    • Dryland variety trial, Rudd and other breeders, seed representatives.
    • Wheat seed technology, IndigoAg representatives.
    • Seeding rate trial, Bell.
    • Seed treatment trial, Obasa.

    For more information, contact Shannon Baker at or 806-677-5639.

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