Oklahoma Wheat Planting Getting UnderwayFri, 29 Aug 2014 18:01:31 CDT
As the public prepares for the Labor Day holiday weekend, farmers are making plans for planting their 2015 winter wheat crop. September first through the beginning of November is the normal planting window for wheat in the state. Oklahoma Wheat Commission Executive Director Mike Schulte said with the recent moisture farmers have an opportunity to plan the crop earlier this fall.
"Many parts of the state have received rain," Schulte said. "I think there are producers out there that are still hoping they will continue to receive rain this weekend and going on into next week, which will maybe help them with their management decisions."
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Schulte to talk about the planting of the 2015 wheat crop. You can hear their full conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR at the bottom of this story.
With warmer temperatures and limited moisture in August, Schulte said farmers are still being very cautious as the state continues to remain in drought. Depending on the timing of rain, farmers will be weighing their options in planting a dual-purpose wheat crop for grazing or in planting later for a grain only crop. While its hard to predict the weather, he is optimistic that the state won't see a repeat of 2014 where the state produced about half the size of a normal year's crop due to devastating dryness.
Coming up next weekend the Oklahoma Wheat Commission will be one of the agricultural organizations that will represented at Septemberfest. The 18th annual Septemberfest will be held Saturday, September 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the grounds of the Governorís Mansion and the Oklahoma History Center. The free event for the whole family is hosted by Governor Mary Fallin and First Gentleman Wade Christensen.
"It really an educational opportunity and tool for us to educate the public about the things that we are doing in agriculture here in Oklahoma City," Schulte said.
The Ag Venue is a popular section of Septemberfest coordinated by the Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. Ag Venue will feature of the agricultural commodities grown in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Wheat Commission will offer samples of homemade cinnamon rolls and baked goods. Other commodity groups will also offer free samples of watermelon, milk, beef hot dogs, peanuts and popcorn.
"We feel like this is a wonderful opportunity for us to go out there and actually engage with the public and show them the things we are working on from the field to the industry floor through the milling, baking components and a lot of the other industries are also working on that showing how their product goes through the value chain before it enters the supermarket shelf," Schulte said
The Oklahoma Wheat Commission is also preparing for the state's Junior Wheat Show, where 4-H and FFA members can also showcase their wheat crop. Annually the Oklahoma Wheat Commission awards over 16 thousand dollars in scholarships. In the past the Junior Wheat Show was based the visual characteristics of the crop. This year the competition changed in judging the crop on milling and baking components. The results of the Junior Wheat Show will be released on November fourth.
Right now is an excellent time for youth to make planting decisions for the 2015 Junior Wheat Show. Schulte recommends youth begin to work with a certified seed provider and secure their plots for growing their crop.
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