Wheat organizations announce research funding
The Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Wheat Alliance and Kansas Crop Improvement Association announced that collectively, they will fund more than $1.4 million in wheat research for the 2014 fiscal year (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014).
The research awards are for scientists with Kansas State University in Manhattan and Hays.
Research funding comes from one-and-a-half cents collected on every bushel of wheat sold in the state 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.
Much of the funding is tied directly to core facets of new wheat variety development including: Disease control and resistance, insect control and resistance, quality assessment, and genetic mapping and trait identification. Other projects include use of advanced breeding technologies and new agronomic equipment. This core wheat research benefits public university programs and private seed companies in Kansas and across the central plains.
Not all projects include laboratory field work. One example, funded through KCIA, aims to connect 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 Kansas Crop Improvement Association.
This year, for the first time, the three organizations combined their research award process. Scientists were asked to submit proposals which were reviewed by committees of each organization. Project funding was awarded based on each group’s particular research goals.
“Collaboration allows our organizations to better prioritize research funding needs and to get the most out of wheat producer dollars,” said Daryl Strouts, president of Kansas Wheat Alliance.
“Kansas farmer funding of wheat research is at its highest point in history,” Kansas Wheat Chief Executive Officer Justin Gilpin said. “ These research projects along with the investment in the new Kansas wheat Innovation Center clearly demonstrate that wheat farmers put money back into advancing their industry.”