UNL wheat and field pea plot tours scheduled for June 21-22 in several counties

University of Nebraska winter wheat and field pea variety trial plot tours are scheduled for June 21 and 22 at several locations around western Nebraska, including Cheyenne, Deuel, Banner and Box Butte counties.

The tours provide an opportunity for farmers and others to learn more about new varieties and other topics relevant to wheat and pea.

Wheat plot tours

Wheat variety trial plots are located in Cheyenne, Deuel, Banner and Box Butte counties. Four of the plots are rainfed and one, in Box Butte County, is irrigated. Discussion topics will include genetics (new varieties on the horizon) and also production issues. Dipak Santra, UNL crop breeder at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, said the 2018 Panhandle winter wheat crop is generally good health, helped along by sufficient precipitation, no late spring frost, and none major disease issues such as wheat streak mosaic and stripe rust that have caused problems in recent years.

Specialists and crop breeders from the public sector, as well as representatives of private seed companies, will be on hand at wheat tour stops. Speakers will include UNL Crop Breeder Stephen Baenziger, UNL Plant Pathologist Stephen Wegulo, and Robert Graybosch, wheat breeder with the U.S. Department of Agriculture based in Lincoln. Other UNL and company reps also will speak at some of the plots.

The irrigated site has 23 varieties and the rainfed sites have 21 varieties from UNL, Colorado State University, University of Wyoming, and commercial seed companies. The varieties include both experimental lines and commercially released varieties. Seed companies represented in the variety trials include Husker Genetics (UNL), PlainsGold (Colorado State University), AGRIMASS, Limagrain Cereal Seeds, AgriPro Syngenta, Dyna-Gro Seeds, WestBred (Monsanto), CRFW (University of Wyoming), and CROPLAN.

An organic wheat variety tour that was scheduled for Kimball County near Bushnell has been cancelled.

The schedule of wheat tours:

        June 21, 8 a.m., Cheyenne County at High Plains Ag Lab (Rainfed): From HPAL office, 0.25 miles east on CR RD 32N, then north miles on trial road. Plot is on Field 25.

        June 21, 4 p.m., Deuel County (Rainfed): From Chappell, 11 miles east Highway 30, 6 miles north on CR 189. Plot is on west side.

        June 22, 9 a.m., Banner County (Rainfed): From Harrisburg, 1 mile east on RD 4A. Plot is on north side.

        June 22, 3 p.m., Box Butte County (Irrigated): From Hemingford, 4 miles south on Highway 2, 0.5 miles east on Gage RD, 0.25 miles north on CR 67. Plot is on west side.

        June 22, 5 p.m., Box Butte County (Rainfed): From Berea, 2 miles north and 0.5 mile west on Hall RD. Plot is on south side.

Pea field days

Two field pea plot tours are scheduled for June 21, one in Cheyenne and the other in Box Butte County. The Cheyenne County tour will feature 24 varieties and the Box Butte County tour 19 varieties.

According to Santra, 10 of the pea varieties will be new this year, experimental lines that are probably several years from commercial release. Seed companies represented include Meridian, Legume Logic, Great Northern AG, Arrowseed (new this year) and Pulse USA. Speakers from UNL and seed companies will speak during the tours.

The Panhandle field pea variety plots are among five total pea plot locations in Nebraska. In addition to Sidney and Hemingford, the others are located in central and southwest Nebraska, at Grant, Callaway and Bladen.

Discussion will include 2018 crop condition. Santra said pea acreage continues to increase as more Nebraska farmers, including some in new growing areas, get interested. The 2018 crop is a little behind schedule following cool, wet weather in late May and early June. Some of the plants have started flowering, he said.

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Most of the varieties in the trials are yellow field peas, but several lines of green pea also have been planted in this year’s trials. Santra explained the vast majority of peas grown are yellow peas, but there is a small specialty market for green peas.

Dates and locations of the field pea plot tours:

        June 21, 8 a.m., Cheyenne County at High Plains Ag Lab (Rainfed): From HPAL office, 0.25 miles east on CR 32N, then north on trial road.

        June 21, 4 p.m., Box Butte County: From Hemingford, 7 miles east on Dodge RD, 1.5 miles south on CR 62. Plot is on east side.

        “We appreciate the generosity of the co-operative growers,” said Santra. They include Greg Hansen, Chris Cullan, Larry Flohr, and Jim Wyatt. For more information call Santra at 308-632-1244 or 970-397-9817 (cell) or UNL Research Technician Vernon Florke at 308-249-3161.