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Lane County Wheat Tour coming up


If you want to take a look at the hottest wheat variety from l00 years ago while also seeing the hot new varieties of today, plan on being at the Lane County Extension Wheat Plots on May 27. In addition to a number of wheat varieties, you'll also have the opportunity to see a selection of triticale varieties.

Dave Coltrain, Lane County Extension Agent, says the plots are on the Vance and Louise Ehmke farm. From Dighton, go west 7 miles on highway 96. Turn south on Eagle Road and go 1.5 miles to the plots. The tour starts at 6 p.m. A light supper follows.

"You won't want to miss this tour because it may be the only opportunity in the entire state to see 4 or 5 acres of the antique Turkey Red variety-the original variety that was brought by Mennonite settlers from Russia to Kansas. The Ehmkes were able to get a small supply of Turkey Red which they have planted right beside the modern varieties of today," Coltrain says.

"And, you bet, there are differences between the old and new," Ehmke says. "The Turkey Red is quite a bit taller and later. It also has much smaller leaves-and a very spindly stalk. However, like with the modern varieties, there are no foliar diseases at all on the Turkey Red."

In addition to common wheat varieties, you'll be able to see hot new varieties like TAM ll2, Hatcher and Bill Brown in the Lane County Plots. Plus, these plots feature several triticale varieties which work well for grazing or grain production. "Too, we'll see some tall, late maturing varieties, both awned and awnless, which produce very large tonnages when put up as hay or silage," Ehmke says.

Erick De Wolf, K-State plant pathologist, and Brian Olson, crops specialist, are on the program while Dave Coltrain will have comments on marketing. The program is sponsored by the Garden City Co-op and the Kansas Crop Improvement Association. See you there.

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