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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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White Wheat Focus of NMSU Field Day May 13 in Clovis

CLOVIS - The emergence of white wheat as an alternative to traditional red wheat production in eastern New Mexico will be discussed at a wheat field day May 13 at New Mexico State University's Agricultural Science Center at Clovis.



Aaron Scott, farm superintendent with New Mexico State University's Agricultural Science Center at Clovis, harvests wheat plots from last season's variety trials. Results from this year's trials, along with new cropping opportunities using white wheat, highlight at a wheat field day May 13 at NMSU's Agricultural Science Center at Clovis. (Courtesy photo by Janet Irwin)

"Historically, this has been red wheat country," said Mark Marsalis, a Clovis-based agronomist with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service. "But there is potential for white wheat to do well here in eastern New Mexico, especially since it would give growers a greater diversity of cropping options. That's not to say things are going to change overnight; nothing ever does."

White wheat may be just as high-yielding with better grain quality to red wheat in many instances, Marsalis said. Growers are concerned that marketing options for white wheat are limited, but new markets are opening up and demand for white wheat is improving, he said.

The free, half-day program begins with registration at 1:30 p.m. and a field tour at 3:45 p.m. at NMSU's 164-acre Clovis science center, located 15 miles north of Clovis on State Road 288.

Marsalis will give an update on a forage variety trials, as well as a talk about his studies of the production potential of wheat, rye, oats and triticale for ensiling purposes.

Rex Kirksey, superintendent of NMSU's agricultural science centers at Tucumcari and Clovis, will provide a station report. Karl Steddom, a research scientist with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station in Amarillo, will discuss the status of wheat diseases in the area and how to manage for them.

"This year's growing season has presented wheat growers with some climatic challenges, including some heavy rains that have contributed to wheat insects and diseases," Marsalis said.

Bob Dietrick, a progressive wheat producer from the Oklahoma Panhandle, will talk about his experiences with white wheat production and the crop's potential as a profitable alternative to red wheat. Mark Hodges, director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, will review the marketing potential of white wheat both locally and internationally.

During a field tour, Marsalis will give an overview of a field bindweed herbicide study. Mark Renz, an Extension weed specialist in Las Cruces, directs the study with local assistance from Stan Jones, Curry County Extension program director. Brent Bean, an agronomist with Texas Cooperative Extension in Amarillo, will discuss wheat variety trial results from Texas and New Mexico.

For more information about the field day, or if you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate, contact Marsalis in advance at (505) 985-2292 or e-mail marsalis@nmsu.edu.