Organic plot tours at University of Nebraska-Lincoln research centers across the Nebraska will highlight wheat varieties and cover crop experiments.
The schedule is June 15 at South Central Agricultural Laboratory at Clay Center, June 16 at the Forestry Farm of the Ag Research and Development Center near Mead, June 17 at Haskell Agricultural Laboratory near Concord, and June 21 at High Plains Agricultural Laboratory near Sidney.
At the three eastern Nebraska sites, field tours will start at 6 p.m. and there will be a 5:30 p.m. free meal before the tour.
Richard Little, UNL organic wheat breeding specialist, will visit with farmers about released and potential cultivars for organic wheat production, and varietal response to top-dressing to improve protein content.
At Clay Center, Little will also show conventional soft winter wheat variety plots sponsored by Hesco, Inc. Wheat tours will be followed by a tour of cover crop experiments specific for each site.
At Sidney, the organic tour will start at 10 a.m. Dr. Dipak Santra, alternative crop breeding faculty, will discuss yield, quality traits and wheat canopy cover to suppress weeds. You can also view weed control in sunflowers with a flamer. A tour of conventional wheat variety plots at 8:30 a.m. will precede the organic tour. Information will be presented on how to use varietal performance in conventional yield trials to supplement organic data.
The UNL Wheat Breeding program is working with millers and bakers to select winter wheat cultivars for the organic market with an emphasis on nutritional whole-wheat products. Antioxidants, dietary fiber and gluten strength, as well as yield performance and disease resistance, will be discussed for each of the varieties grown on certified organic research land.
Farmers considering transitioning to an organic production system also can see how crop rotations are set-up at each research location and meet with other organic farmers. These events are free and open to the public. To register for the field day and meal call Pat at (402) 584-3837 or e-mail Liz Sarno [email protected].