Kansas wheat groups plan coordinated research

by Laura Lloyd
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MANHATTAN, KAS. — The Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Wheat Alliance and Kansas Crop Improvement Association said they will fund more than $1.4 million in wheat research in fiscal 2014 ending June 30, 2014, on topics such as disease control, insect control, quality assessment and genetic mapping and trait identification.

The research funding comes from a 1.5c-per-bu fee on wheat sold in Kansas through the Kansas Wheat Commission, royalties collected on licensed public varieties through the Kansas Wheat Alliance and contributions from the research support fund generated by certified seed growers, the Kansas Wheat Commission said.

The projects approach a wide variety of topics and are not limited to laboratory or field work. One example, for instance, will work on connecting wheat growers with seed distributors on the Internet.

“We are trying to take advantage of emerging technologies to give wheat farmers tools to make their jobs easier,” said Steve Schuler, executive director of the K.C.I.A.

The planned fiscal 2014 research represents the first time that the three organizations combined their research award process, which will permit better prioritization of research needs, said Daryl Strouts, president of the Kansas Wheat Alliance.

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