Register now for Extension Organic Winter Wheat Tours in June |

Register now for Extension Organic Winter Wheat Tours in June

Sandi Alswager Karstens
IANR News Service

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension organic plot tours at UNL Research and Extension centers across the state will highlight wheat varieties and cover crop experiments.

Tours will be June 15 at the South Central Agricultural Laboratory at Clay Center, June 16 at the Forestry Farm of the Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead, June 17 at the Haskell Agricultural Laboratory near Concord and June 21 at the High Plains Agricultural Laboratory near Sidney.

At the three eastern Nebraska sites, wheat tours will start at 6 p.m. with a 5:30 p.m. complimentary meal.

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 near Mead tour includes: 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 tour at Sidney will start at 10 a.m., with an 8:30 a.m. optional tour of conventional wheat variety plots. Information will be presented on 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 also see how crop rotations are set up at each research location and meet with other organic farmers.

All events are free and open to the public. To register for the field day and meal call Pat at (402) 584-3837 or email Liz Sarno at