News & Events
Kansas Wheat Alliance will market three new wheat varieties to farmers in the fall of 2020. All varieties offer improved disease resistance, drought resistance and yield potential. Two of the varieties are hard red winter wheats and one is white. The varieties were developed by the Kansas State University Hays Breeding Program. Foundation seed for KS14HW106-6, KS15H116 and KS15H161, better known as KS Silverado, KS Dallas and KS Western Star, will be distributed to Certified seed producers this fall.
Wheat varieties with diverse sets of highly-desired traits are widely available to growers these days making it easier to pinpoint the best fit for their operation, even on a field-to-field basis. These new varieties are constantly pushing the envelope in critical areas like yield and disease resistance but improving management practices is the most effective way to push these cutting-edge genetics to their fullest potential throughout the growing season.
Kansas, along with numerous other states across the United States, was dealt severe rainfall and abnormal weather conditions this spring and early summer. The rainfall and cool temperatures invited a breeding ground for various diseases, most notably Fusarium head blight (head scab). Head scab can cause significant yield loss and grain quality reduction, and can be detrimental to seed germination. Unfortunately, the disease often goes undetected before it’s too late to control in the field.
A list of upcoming plot tours has been added to the website here. This will be updated weekly.
Agronomy insights from professionals across the state regarding the 2019 wheat crop as it progresses.
Stem rust, a disease that once caused major yield losses in the Great Plains, has been effectively controlled with genetic resistance for decades. There hasn’t been a major outbreak since the 1980s; however, this base of genetic resistance has eroded considerably in recent years.
Wheat growers in western Kansas may have an opportunity in upcoming years to grow durum varieties thanks to the Kansas State University Wheat Breeding Program. Although durum is not traditionally grown in Kansas because it is normally a spring wheat, Andy Auld, assistant agronomist, and Dr. Allan Fritz, professor and wheat breeder at K-State, along with others, are developing wheat lines of durum that will be winter wheats.
Kansas wheat farmers will potentially see and feel effects from the El Niño weather pattern expected to move into the United States over the next six months. Although the El Niño is expected to be fairly weak, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has predicted that most of the country is going to be slightly warmer than normal, with a much milder winter in store.
The Kansas State University Agriculture Research Center in Hays has been a pioneer in wheat development for years. Dr. T. Joe Martin, former wheat breeder at the station, paved the way for future breeders like Dr. Guorong Zhang, the current wheat breeder at the Hays Research Center. Zhang is walking in the footsteps of Martin by breeding wheat lines for the High Plains.
Seed is one of the worst places to reduce cost, but often the first to be considered. So how can you be sure to not limit your yield potential while still being prudent in selecting the best seed?
Zenda topped the OSU fall forage production trial for the 2017-2018 production year in Stillwater, Oklahoma. This is the second year Zenda has made the top group of varieties.
During the 1980s and 1990s, it was not uncommon to see the disease plaguing fields, and in 1986, wheat farmers saw the most devastating yield loss from stem rust since the early 1960s. Since then, the control of stem rust has remained fairly consistent due to farmers planting wheat varieties with genetic resistance.
Kansas Wheat Alliance (KWA) offers several K-State wheat varieties that can perform in any environment, for any type of producer. Great disease packages, drought resistance, acid soil tolerance and high yields are various aspects delivered in KWA varieties.
The Rocky Ford Experiment Station in Manhattan, Kan., grows novel genetic materials for wheat improvement year after year for farmers, wheat breeders, researchers and others in the wheat industry. The goal of the station is to be a starting point for wheat breeders and researchers to find new genes that are available to put into wheat varieties of the future. The various genes they are looking for include resistance to different insects, diseases and drought.
In the months leading up to harvest, many producers, seed dealers and researchers within the wheat industry add one or two plot tours to their busy schedules. There are typically more than 100 plot tours open to the public across the states of Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Colorado.
To learn more about which K-State varieties work best for your region, visit our new interactive map.
The 2018 wheat variety performance tests have been released by Kansas State University and Oklahoma State University.
Since 1919, producers have bought Certified Seed with confidence knowing they are receiving quality wheat in each bushel. Organizations like Kansas Crop Improvement Association (KCIA) complete an assortment of tests that must prove the wheat meets certain Certified Seed standards if producers and seed companies want to market it as such.
Kansas Wheat Alliance has hired Hannah Schlapp as their new communications specialist. Schlapp is currently a student at Kansas State University majoring in agricultural communications and journalism. She is expected to graduate in May, 2018.
Everest maintained its position as the leading variety of wheat seeded in Kansas for the sixth consecutive year. Its share of all Kansas wheat fell for the third straight year, accounting for 9.3 percent of the State’s 2018 wheat planted acres. Joe was the leading hard white variety at 1.9 percent, followed closely by Danby at 1.7 percent.
Tallgrass Taphouse in Manhattan, Kansas, developed a seasonal wheat beer using the 1863 variety.
“Let’s go to the lumber yard.” At our house, that usually means we need supplies for carpentry repairs or a do-it-yourself project. Today we’ll learn about a lumber yard where one can find a whole different set of supplies. Instead of wood, we find wine. Instead of hardware, we find hamburgers. Instead of stacks of lumber, we find steak dinners. This business is owned by a pioneering cattleman from rural Kansas.
If a centennial is 100 years and a sesquicentennial is 150 years, what is 130 years? Whatever that number of years might be called, in 2017 it is the basis of a celebration of the founding of a historic community in rural Kansas. A team of volunteers has come together to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the founding of Zenda, Kansas. Zenda was founded along a railroad line in Kingman County on Sept. 6, 1887.
In geographical terms, Kansas is a large, diverse state with significantly less annual average rainfall to the west than in the east, so a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for crops grown in the state. To that end, Kansas State University researchers have developed three new wheat varieties best suited for different growing conditions and available for the first time this year.
(August 15, 2017) — KWA has hired Kim Kohls as Account Manager. She previously served as Crop Production Agent for K-State Research & Extension in the River Valley District covering Cloud, Clay, Republic and Washington counties. Kim grew up on a farm near Leonardville, just northwest of Manhattan and received her masters degree in Agronomy from K-State in 2013. She now lives near Newton with her husband, Kevin. “I think KWA members and farmers are going to find Kim very knowledgeable about the K-State wheat varieties and a valuable resource regarding crop production,” said Daryl Strouts, KWA President. Please welcome Kim to the KWA family.
Through several years of testing, Tatanka performed well across Kansas, particularly in dryland fields in western Kansas. The new variety was developed by Hays-based Kansas State University wheat breeder Guorong Zhang. Wheat breeding is not for the impatient. The new variety took nine years to develop, Zhang said.
March 21, 2017 – Kansas Wheat Alliance varieties continue to be the leading hard red winter and hard white wheat varieties planted in the state of Kansas. Both developed by Kansas State University, the top hard red winter wheat was Everest and the top hard white wheat was Danby. This is according to the March 2017 “Kansas Wheat Varieties” report from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Everest continued to be the leading variety of all wheat seeded in Kansas, accounting for 9.6 percent of the state’s 2017 wheat crop. Everest was the most popular variety in the eastern two thirds of the state.
MANHATTAN, Kan. (October 6, 2016) – This year marks the 22nd anniversary of Kansas State University’s hard red winter wheat variety, Jagger. This variety has made an impact in several countries, states and individual farms, since its release in 1994. Not only was it one of the most widely-planted varieties, but one of the best parent varieties as well.
Dr. Rollin Sears, a retired wheat breeder for K-State and later AgriPro/Syngenta, made the initial cross for Jagger and several other widely-accepted varieties during his career.
“When I came to Kansas, I noticed that most of the time wheat never ripens in Kansas. It usually dies because of the drought or high temperature. So, I was looking for and making crosses to try to identify wheats that would actually ripen and not die. Jagger was that variety.”
MANHATTAN, Kan. (August 29, 2016) – The Kansas Wheat Alliance released KanMark, a hard red winter wheat variety, in 2014. Since then, it has positively impacted farmers’ yields in the central and western plains.
“This variety was the best wheat I’ve ever grown,” said Kendal Grecian, who farms near Palco, Kansas. KanMark has a very erect plant architecture, making it appear thin in the field. It yields better than it looks like it will.
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State University’s Plant Genetics Materials Release Committee met July 27, 2016, where they approved the release for three new hard red winter wheat varieties.
Foundation seed for KS060143K-2, KS060106M-11 and KS12H56-6-4, better known as Larry, Zenda and Tatanka, will be distributed to Certified seed producers this fall, and Certified seed is expected to be available for farmers in the fall of 2017.
August 10, 2016
Wheat U is a FREE, farmer-focused event that provides resources to make informed production decisions on your operation. Come learn with experienced farmers and industry leaders how wheat can contribute to the profitability of your operation.
For more information about Wheat U, visit wheatu.com.
The Farmers Yield Initiative sent out their mailer containing information about the Cuban trade embargo, PVPA Penalties, protected wheat varieties and the Plant Variety Protection Act.
Joe, the newest hard white winter wheat variety from Kansas Wheat Alliance, was named after T. Joe Martin, retired wheat breeder at K-State’s Agricultural Research Center in Hays, Kansas.
Joe Martin began his wheat breeding career in 1974, after graduating from Michigan State, when he started in the plant disease program at KSU ARC and later became a wheat breeder.
Kansas farmers spent the morning touring test plots, congratulating award recipients and listening to topics affecting wheat at the Kansas Wheat Day on May 26 at the K-State Agricultural Research Center in Hays, Kansas.
With the wheat maturing and harvest underway in parts of Oklahoma and Kansas, concerns of head scab or fusarium head blight (FHB) are present. Head scab will cause partial or completely white heads in the field but be aware that there are other causes for white heads. Dr.’s Romulo Lollato and Erick DeWolf from K-State do a great job of explaining the many causes of white heads in the most recent Agronomy eUpdate, which can be found here. The rest of this article will be focused on fusarium head blight and the concerns and problems associated with it.
Kansas wheat farmers are invited to Hays, Kansas, on Thursday, May 26, for Kansas Wheat Day, hosted by the KSU Ag Research Center.
This is going to be another year where spraying a fungicide on intermediate to susceptible varieties to stripe rust is going to make a big yield difference. Fields and test plots that were not treated in Southern Kansas and Central Oklahoma have high severity of stripe rust on the flag leaves. The cool, moist weather this week is excellent for grain filling but is also highly conducive for continued development of stripe rust. With this in mind, I urge producers in areas where the wheat hasn’t yet bloomed to consider a fungicide application if they haven’t already pulled the trigger. Just keep in mind what is on label for some of these fungicides as we get later in wheat development.
More than 50 associates and guests attended Kansas Wheat Alliance’s VIP Field Day on May 13. K-State and KWA used this day to give attendees insight into the direction wheat research and variety are heading.
Kansas Wheat Alliance, in cooperation with K-State Research and Extension, will be giving away a Polaris ACE 570 ATV. We also have Flint Hills Powersports, Straub International and American Implement providing some extra accessories to outfit the ACE.
Recent cold weather and increasingly dry conditions across Kansas and Oklahoma have slowed wheat progress but wheat is still two to three weeks ahead of normal. Reports out of Oklahoma have wheat ranging from flag leaf emerging to heads emerging. Kansas has wheat just starting to joint in the northern part of the state to flag leaf emerging in the southeast. Freeze damage, outside of leaf burning, was not as severe as first feared for most of the area but some fields did receive damage to the growing point/developing head. I would advise to continue to scout your wheat for freeze damage as temperatures continue on their spring roller coaster.
Kansas Wheat Alliance’s Bryson Haverkamp attended the International Wheat Stem Sawfly Conference hosted by Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado this past week. Wheat stem sawfly (WSS) has been a major issue in spring and winter wheat in Canada, Wyoming and Montana for a while now but has recently started showing up in Colorado. Surveys done the past couple of years by CSU do show small numbers of WSS in Northwest KS. Solid stemmed varieties are one method to help combat WSS. Lucas Haag, NW Extension Area Agronomist, has evaluated some to see how suitable they are to Kansas. They are fairly late maturing varieties but have produced grain just fine over the past two years. However, they do have a yield disadvantage when compared to the likes of Denali and other varieties well adapted for NW KS. Both Allan Fritz and Guorong Zhang have made crosses with solid stemmed varieties in their breeding program.
A freeze in mid-to-late March in most years isn’t something to write about. However, in most years we aren’t looking at a wheat crop that is anywhere from 3-6 weeks ahead of average. The latest Kansas Crop Progress report has the wheat at 20% jointed across the state with 22% in SW KS and 41% in SC KS. According to K-State’s Spring Freeze Injury publication, temperatures need to get below 24F for 2 hours to cause injury in jointed wheat while temperatures need to get below 12F to effect wheat that hasn’t jointed yet.
I am hearing reports of leaf and stripe rust already starting to show up in varying levels in Oklahoma and up into parts of Kansas. This freeze will hold back these rusts a little bit as we do need living tissue for the rusts to survive on. However, temps are forecasted to go right back into the 60-80’s the next few days. I am afraid that this year is shaping up to be another stripe rust epidemic. It is definitely not a good sign to be seeing stripe rust in Kansas this early and I would be thinking heavily of a fungicide plan if you haven’t already planned on one or even two passes. This freeze will delay the wheat crop some, so you may need to adjust your fungicide plans accordingly.
I attended the International Wheat Stem Sawfly Conference hosted by Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO this past week. Wheat stem sawfly (WSS) has been a major issue in spring and winter wheat in Canada, Wyoming and Montana for a while now but has recently started showing up in Colorado. Survey’s done the past couple of years by CSU do show small numbers of WSS in Northwest KS.
March 7, 2016 – Kansas Wheat Alliance varieties continue to be the leading hard red winter and hard white wheat varieties planted in the state of Kansas. Both developed by Kansas State University, the top hard red winter wheat was Everest and the top hard white wheat was Danby. This is according to the March 2016 “Kansas Wheat Varieties” report from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Everest continued to be the leading variety of all wheat seeded in Kansas, accounting for 12.2 percent of the state’s 2016 wheat crop. Everest was the most popular variety in the eastern two thirds of the state.
January 29, 2016 – Researchers are looking for wheat genes that will provide additional resistance to wheat streak mosaic virus, thanks to funding from the Kansas Wheat Alliance. Yield loss due to wheat streak mosaic virus equaled more than 4.25 million bushels in the 2013 Kansas wheat crop alone, adding up to a $32.6 million economic impact.
September 25, 2015 — Kansas Wheat Alliance is proud to introduce Bryson Haverkamp as the new Account Manager. Haverkamp began work on July 20, and is responsible for keeping in touch with KWA’s seed producers and informing them about new wheat varieties and research projects funded by Kansas State University. He also works with producers to identify desirable traits in wheat varieties and inform wheat breeders of traits producers are looking for. Another of Haverkamp’s duties is to help producers manage the different varieties they will be growing in the upcoming planting season.
Haverkamp is a 2012 graduate of Kansas State University where he earned his bachelor of science in agronomy. He then continued on to pursue a master’s in crop production under Kraig Roozeboom at K-State and recently finished in January 2015.
July 27, 2015 – Farmers should be aware of potential problems associated with head scab and take precautions when selling grain or using it for seed purposes. Due to prolonged and heavy spring rains head scab has been a threat to this year’s wheat crop in Kansas. Farmers should have scouted fields prior to harvest for disease to avoid price reductions at grain elevators and are encouraged to take necessary procedures to attain acceptable seed quality. Head scab also known as known as Fusarium Head Blight, is caused by wet and humid weather from flowering time to seed maturity. Continuous wet weather develops a Fusarium mold specie called Gibberella zeae. This fungus yields a mycotoxin called Vomitoxin or Deoxynivalenol (DON). These chemicals at high enough levels are considered harmful or toxic to human and livestock health.
Upcoming Event – KWA Summer Seed Meeting
Kansas Wheat Alliance Summer Meeting – July 30, 2015
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn, Manhattan, KS
Kansas Seed Industry Association Summer Seed Conference – July 30, 2015
Headquarters: Hilton Garden Inn, Manhattan, KS
Meeting registration is complimentary if received in the KSIA office by July 22.
A fee of $25 per person will be due after July 22.
Mail, email or Fax your registration to KSIA office.
Please include Company/Association name and names of those attending.
Kansas Seed Industry Association
331 N. Vine, Greeley, KS 66033
Schedule of Events on July 30
Breakfast on your own
Guest Speaker: Mark Henry, Henry Law Firm, Farmers Yield Initiative
1:30-3pm…..Kansas Wheat Alliance
Seeds planted by farmers are the important bases of what they produce. Those seeds grow into the crop that will eventually be harvested, but how does a farmer know exactly what variety he is planting and if it will even grow? Certified seed gives producers confidence in their crop by providing recognized proof of grain’s parent seed identity. All certified wheat seeds produced and sold are tested by the Kansas Crop Improvement Association (KCIA). The certification process and high standards set by members and enforced by KCIA ensure that the seeds are of high quality and suitable for growing by the producer. The seeds are required to pass field inspections and are tested for varietal purity, germination ability, diseases and contaminants.
Kansas State University wheat breeder Allan Fritz has a lifetime of intuition and experience in developing new wheat varieties. But, thanks to research funded by Kansas wheat farmers through the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Wheat Alliance, he has new technological tools to help his team work smarter and faster. “New technologies in plant breeding have created opportunities for increased efficiency and genetic gain,” wrote Fritz in a research proposal. “Those technologies are now becoming available in wheat and are critical to improving the competitiveness of wheat versus other crops as well as for maintaining strength in the public wheat breeding programs.”
Kansas Wheat Alliance is seeking an Account Manager who will lead the sales effort for KWA wheat varieties. The Account Manager will work with wheat producers and will help Associates monitor and meet customer needs. A successful candidate will possess a bachelor’s degree and at least 5 years of experience in agronomy sales or similar field. Full job description is available at http://kswheatalliance.org/about/jobopening/. Interested individuals should send a letter of introduction and resume to Kansas Wheat Alliance, 1990 Kimball Ave Ste 200, Manhattan, KS 66502; firstname.lastname@example.org. Review of applications will begin on April 20. Position will remain open until a suitable candidate has been selected.
March 17, 2015 – It’s not very often that you can cut down on your paperwork and, in turn, help fund scholarships for college students. But that’s exactly what Kansas Wheat Alliance associates did recently. As older wheat varieties, such as Jagger, have become less popular, many Certified seed producers have dropped them in favor of newer, better varieties, such as 1863 and KanMark. KWA provided an incentive to seed producers for terminating their licenses to produce older varieties. The incentive was in the form of a $25 donation toward their choice of one of four scholarship programs, or the Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation. The result was $5,000 donated to these programs, and associates spending a little less time completing annual reports.
March 10, 2015 – At the Kansas Wheat Alliance annual meeting on February 18, 2015, Herb Mattson presided over his final meeting as chairman. Mattson, a second generation farmer from Colby, Kan., served as chairman of the Kansas Wheat Alliance board of directors from 2008 until last month. While his term as chairman has ended, his dedication to the organization remains strong.
February 26, 2015 – Kansas Wheat Alliance varieties continue to be the leading hard red winter and hard white wheat varieties planted in the state of Kansas. Both developed by Kansas State University, the top hard red winter wheat was Everest and the top hard white wheat was Danby. This is according to the February 2015 “Kansas Wheat Varieties” report from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
February 18, 2015 – Kansas Wheat Alliance announced today that it reached a settlement with Brett Parker and D&B Parker Farms LLC, Waterville, Kansas, for Parker’s unauthorized sale and use of the Fuller wheat variety. The United States Federal Court judge entered judgment for $200,000 and prohibits Parker from using KWA’s varieties in the future without strict adherence to the Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA).
January 16, 2015 – It’s invisible to the human eye, but measured in microseconds, and helping shape the future of Kansas wheat varieties. Sounds like science fiction, but research funded by the Kansas Wheat Alliance is using near-infrared light measurements to dramatically speed up the process of selecting higher yielding, more heat and drought tolerant wheat lines. Daljit Singh, K-State doctoral student in plant pathology, is part of a research team led by Dr. Jesse Poland. Using a point-and-shoot camera connected to a small unmanned aerial system (sUAS), commonly referred to as a drone, Singh is demonstrating how to save both time and money in selecting which experimental lines to advance to the next potential wheat variety.
December 4, 2014 – What if there was a Netflix for wheat breeders? But, instead of suggesting movies, the algorithm “suggested” the best potential wheat varieties – generations before being planted in a test plot? With Kansas Wheat Alliance funding, Dr. Jesse Poland and his team have created just that – a continuously evolving model built from current and historical wheat testing data. Armed with this knowledge, Kansas State University wheat breeders Allan Fritz in Manhattan and Guorong Zhang in Hays have a new tool to help them identify the lines with the best genetic potential to be the newest K-State wheat variety release.
December 1, 2014 – Kansas Wheat Alliance (KWA) announced today that they have accepted $10,000 to release and discharge Paul Simpson, Weir, Kansas, from an alleged infringement claim stemming from the unauthorized offering for sale of the Everest wheat variety. “Almost all of the popular wheat varieties in Kansas are PVP protected,” stated Daryl Strouts, KWA president. “There has been an ongoing effort to educate farmers since 1970 about the U.S. Plant Variety Protection Act (PVP). KWA has supported these efforts, including the mailing of 50,000 brochures annually to producers in the central plains. If farmers don’t know about PVP, it’s because they don’t want to know.”
October 28, 2014 – The world of agriculture just got more high tech. The Kansas Wheat Alliance (KWA) has released the Kansas Wheat Yield Calculator app for Android and Apple devices. The application lets producers collect information about their winter wheat fields and uses industry-standard formulas to give an assessment of potential yield prior to harvest. The calculator uses the number of tillers on the plant, the row spacing and several other factors into account when crunching the numbers. The user can choose from three different formulas used by KWA, Kansas State University and crop insurance adjusters, or choose to have the products averaged. The app has the ability to analyze photos taken of the field on the producer’s phone and estimate the future yields.
Jul 31, 2014 – From phonographs to iPods and horse-drawn carriages to four-wheel drives, much has changed dramatically over the last century, the wheat industry included. Kansas State University released its first variety, Kanred, 100 years ago. Now, a century later, K-State, in conjunction with the Kansas Wheat Alliance, is unveiling its latest variety, KanMark.
Feb 21, 2014 – Kansas Wheat Alliance’s variety Everest continued to be the leading variety of wheat seeded in Kansas, accounting for 14.3 percent of the state’s 2014 planted wheat acres, the same percent as 2013. Everest, a variety developed by Kansas State University, was the most popular variety in the eastern two thirds of the State. [Read more]