Wheat Breeder Brett Carver Struggles to Rank Varieties this Year, Waiting on Combine for AnswersWed, 16 May 2018 12:19:16 CDT
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up recently with Brett Carver, Oklahoma Wheat Improvement Team lead, to get his take on the wheat crop in Oklahoma and the performance of his teamís variety trials this year. When asked about what he has seen so far, he responded saying that there has certainly not been as much action as we had seen this time last year. Click or tap the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page to hear Carverís complete interview with Hays.
Right now, Carver says the only action to be had right now is determining the extent of the damage caused by the multiple freezes farmers encountered earlier this spring. And contrary to the last few years, he says there was only a light sprinkling of diseases that popped up across the state this growing season. He found that to be a bit disappointing, eager to see how his wheat varieties stood up against some of the pathogens that ravaged fields in 2017. Nonetheless, he has had the opportunity to measure the different varietiesí tolerance of the weather extremes seen this year - though he says he has not really seen any one in particular that stands out from the rest.
ďI havenít see any that have not - they all seem to be in about the same category,Ē he remarked. ďGallagher took it on the chin a little bit this year with the freeze. But, Smithís Gold on the other hand maybe a little bit better.Ē
Carver is hesitant to make any definite calls on the actual performance of varieties in the field until he gets data back to compare and determine a statewide average. He says the combine holds all the answers.
While little progress is being made at distinguishing one variety from the others this year, Carver says the same is true for many of the experimental lines being developed. Currently, he claims to have about half a dozen experimentals he would like to see released as a new variety, but says he has been unable to decide which ones arenít quite ready yet.
ďThatís a tough question, because itís not a question of which one, itís trying to figure out which one not to,Ē he said. ďAmong the six, I really havenít eliminated one just yet. Itís been tough to.Ē
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