Stephen Harrison, Van Osdell, Mary Ann, Padgett, Guy B., Twidwell, Edward K. | 4/24/2007 12:50:25 AM
WINNSBORO – LSU AgCenter wheat experts predicted outstanding yields across the state this year during the Wheat and Oat Field Day held at the Macon Ridge Research Station here on April 20.
"Growing conditions are excellent, diseases are minor and the weather forecast looks good for wheat," said Dr. Ed Twidwell, LSU AgCenter forage specialist.
Some 220,000 acres of wheat were planted in Louisiana last fall, double the acreage over 2005, Twidwell told the 45 people – farmers, consultants, sales representatives – gathered for the annual event.
Yields for 2006 averaged 57 bushels per acre, which was 1 bushel more than the average yield reported in 2005. The gross farm value of the 2006 crop was $25.3 million, up from the 2005 crop valued at $19.6 million, primarily because of increased prices received by farmers, Twidwell said.
"As far as wheat diseases, we really don’t have a problem," said Dr. Clayton Hollier, LSU AgCenter plant pathologist. "Wheat rust disease is scattered here and there, but it is very late and very minor."
After the presentations, participants walked through test plots with the second replication of variety trials, which include 51 entries.
"The take-home message is good things are coming down the pipeline, but seed supply will be an issue next year," said Dr. Steve Harrison, LSU AgCenter plant breeder.
The LSU AgCenter has long been a leader in the development of superior crop varieties and is a member of Sungrains, a southeastern university cooperative established in 2005 to develop wheat and oat varieties. The other members include the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, Clemson University and North Carolina State University. The LSU AgCenter has developed and released 10 wheat and oat varieties since 1997, and Sungrains breeders, collectively, have released 34 wheat and 14 oat varieties.
More information about wheat and oat production may be obtained on the Internet at www.lsuagcenter.com/wheat.
Steve Harrison at (225) 578-1308, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed Twidwell at (225) 578-4564 or email@example.com
Boyd Padgett at (318) 435-2157, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Ann Van Osdell (318) 741-7430, ext. 1104, or email@example.com