MANHATTAN, KAS. — Improving wheat quality and yields through optimal fertilization management will be pursued through the Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation thanks to a grant announced Feb. 13 by Grain Craft.
Researchers from Kansas State University and the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture will seek to establish management guidelines for Kansas wheat growers for the proper application of nitrogen and sulfur on wheat with the goal of maximizing yields and quality.
According to Grain Craft, preliminary results suggest proper sulfur management may enhance important baking qualities of bread wheat and could reduce acrylamide formation in baked foods.
Aaron Harries, vice-president of research and operations for the Kansas Wheat Commission, expressed high hopes for the value of what the research will generate.
“The team conducting this research includes some of the brightest scientists in the wheat research community,” he said. “Depending on the discoveries made, this project has the potential to revolutionize the way farmers grow wheat for added value.”
Describing Grain Craft as a “leader” in engagement with wheat growers and breeders, Ron Suppes, chairman of the K.W.C.R.F., said such interaction is crucial for wheat quality.
“They have set a good example for the entire supply chain by recognizing the need to invest upstream in research to improve the product they purchase,” Mr. Suppes said.
Alan Koenig, chief supply chain officer of Grain Craft, described the foundation’s work as aligned with Grain Craft’s need for top quality wheat.
“We have a shared focus on flour quality with our customers along with the well-being of the U.S. wheat farmer,” he said. “These two go hand-in-hand, and this project will enable farmers to have higher yield while also bringing a high-quality product to the market.”
Grain Craft said it has had a longstanding relationship with both the Kansas Wheat Commission and K.S.U., having supported collaborative partnerships and provided specialty funding as well as data analysis assistance over a period of many years. Grain Craft also participates in an internship program organized by the K.S.U. Department of Grain Science and Industry.