Small Grains Research

Improved varieties of hard red winter wheat and triticale are being developed for the Rolling Plains and High Plains through a research effort coordinated from the Amarillo Center and conduced in the Rolling Plains by technical personnel at the Vernon Center. The major breeding goal is to develop varieties that are disease, drought, and insect resistant and produce well as dual-purpose forage and grain crops.
An integrated team of agronomy/livestock/forage/economics scientists conduct small grains management research on the 550-acre Smith/Walker Research Unit to evaluate small grains management practices and integrate dual-purpose small grains and introduced forages into livestock and cropping systems. A range of management practices including tillage, soil fertility, chemical weed control, and grazing intensity and duration are being evaluated. Economic analyses are conducted to evaluate returns in both a graze-out and a graze-plus-grain harvest system. In addition to economic analyses, results are measured primarily in terms of grain yield, forage yield and beef production.

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