A cooperative research program including A&M-Commerce, Cereal Crops Research Inc. (CCRI), Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, the Texas Wheat Producers Board and agribusiness industry leaders will assist with the continued development of a total wheat management program to maximize producer profits across the Northeast Texas region.
Dr. Curtis Jones, assistant professor of agronomy, Amy D. Braley, senior research associate, and Scott Steward, senior research associate, currently represent A&M-Commerce in the cooperative research program which has been on-going for more than 30 years and plans are for it to continue into the future. Dr. David Drake, IPM Agent with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, and Russell Sutton, Assistant Research Scientist with Texas A&M AgriLife Research, also contribute to the program.
This research program is intended to allow the grower to realize increased returns with similar or lower input costs. If wheat can be more profitable, it will encourage producers to plant larger acreages in the future, which in turn will generate more money for local wheat research. The outcome of the research trials will help commercial growers make more informed managerial decisions.
“When CCRI was formed in 1987 to improve the profitability of wheat in the Northeast Texas region, average wheat yields were around 40 bushels per acre. An intensive research program, generously supported by the Texas Wheat Producers Board, has raised average wheat yields today to 65 bushels per acre, over a 50 percent increase in production. This increase in wheat yields has been a tremendous asset to regional economic development and education of the students at A&M-Commerce,”said Jim Swart, Executive Director of CCRI.
Wheat is the most important and widely planted crop in Northeast Texas and is the only crop in the region that routinely produces stable yields in excess of the national average. The regional soft red winter wheat producers have been looking to A&M-Commerce for scientifically valid wheat production data since the early 1980s.
“A high percentage of the Northeast Texas crop producers plan their crop rotations to include wheat. Research provided by A&M-Commerce and Texas A&M AgriLife Plant Science group have proven SRWW, by class, to be the most economically beneficial variety for this region on blackland type soils,” said Ben Scholz, Chairman of the Texas Wheat Producers Board and A&M-Commerce alumnus.