A drone flies above the variety trial plots at the Bushland, Texas, experimental station during the 2019 Texas A&M AgriLife Wheat Field Day May 22. The wheat breeding program uses these drones to collect data for selection purposes, reducing costs and improving their selection criteria. (Journal photo by Jennifer M. Latzke.)

For the first time, the Texas A&M AgriLife Wheat Field Day at the Bushland, Texas, Agricultural Experiment Station “took the show on the road” with a bus tour of wheat plots across the Panhandle. Stops included irrigated wheat trials at Bushland and near Dalhart, triticale plots near Conlen, and dryland wheat trials near Groom. This way, participants could see the variety trials in many environments and conditions.


Jackie Rudd, Texas A&M AgriLife wheat breeder, talks about new releases TAM 115 and TAM 205 during the wheat field tour May 22, at a stop near Groom, Texas. (Journal photo by Jennifer M. Latzke.)

Among the varieties on display were the two newest releases out of the Texas A&M AgriLife Wheat Improvement Program—TAM 115 and TAM 205. Both varieties offer quality characteristics that farmers may be able to capture added value from, explained Jackie Rudd, Texas A&M wheat breeder. While farmers get paid on yield, not quality, it’s the program’s hope that by releasing wheats with high quality characteristics that farmers can see their local basis at elevators rise and capture the value of these quality characteristics. If a region gets a reputation for quality wheat, buyers pay attention and will source from that region, Rudd explained.

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