Register Now for Organic Winter Wheat Tours - UNL CropWatch, May 24, 2011

Register Now for Organic Winter Wheat Tours - UNL CropWatch, May 24, 2011

May 24, 2011

Organic wheat varieties and cover crop experiments will be featured at plot tours to be conducted this June at UNL Research and Extension centers.

Tours will be held

  • June 15 at the South Central Agricultural Laboratory at ClayCenter
  • June 16 at the Forestry Farm of the Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead
  • June 17 at the Haskell Agricultural Laboratory near Concord
  • June 21 at the High Plains Agricultural Laboratory near Sidney

At the three eastern Nebraska sites, a complimentary meal will be served at 5:30 p.m. followed by a tour at 6 p.m. At the Sidney site, the organic wheat tour will begin at 10 a.m. An optional tour of conventional wheat variety plots will begin at 8:30 a.m.

UNL crop breeders Dipak Santra (at the Sidney site) and Richard Little will lead the tours and discuss yield, wheat canopy cover to suppress weeds, disease resistance and quality traits for each cultivar. The breeding program focuses on selecting cultivars with strong gluten traits for the whole-wheat organic market. Little will present results from top-dressing trials to improve protein content.

Wheat tours will be followed by a tour of specialty crops or cover crop experiments specific for each site.

  • The Clay Center tour will include soft winter wheat plots and hairy vetch as weed control before popcorn.
  • The ARDC tour will include using multi-species mustards as a cover-crop for weed control before corn/soybean, and interseeding clovers in wheat to increase protein.
  • The Concord tour includes soybeans planted after suppressing triticale by flaming and roller-crimping; multi-species mustards cover-crop; and a nutrient/weed management study involving flaming in row crops.
  • The Sidney tour will cover how to use varietal performance in conventional yield trials to supplement organic data. Tour participants will learn about fenugreek as a potential cover crop and view flamer weed control results in sunflowers.

Farmers considering transitioning to an organic production system can see how crop rotations are set up at each research location and meet with other organic farmers.

To register for a field day and meal call Pat at (402) 584-3837 or email Liz Sarno at

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