Missouri Wheat

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Wheat farmers and researchers in Missouri are looking at the possibility of starting a wheat growers association for the state. The Missouri Crop Improvement Association and the University of Missouri have been involved in planning informational meetings on the topic.

Greg Luce, an agronomist with the University of Missouri, says a group of farmers who focus on a more management-intensive, high-yield approach to growing wheat are interested in having a growers association.

“We’ve been working with growers that are interested in starting a wheat growers association in Missouri,” he says. “They could even pass a checkoff at some point.”

The checkoff would help fund ongoing wheat research efforts, Luce says. Kaitlyn Bissonnette, a plant pathologist at MU, has been doing work within the university’s wheat breeding program, helping develop resistance to scab, also known as fusarium head blight.

“A wheat association would help continue the good efforts they’re doing with that breeding program,” Luce says.

He says Illinois has a wheat growers association, but it doesn’t have a checkoff. He thinks it is time for Missouri to have a wheat growers association.

“They should’ve had one 10 or 15 or 20 years ago,” he says.

Missouri has 700,000 wheat acres planted for harvest in 2019, according to the USDA.

For more information on association planning, contact Richard Arnett at 573-449-0586 or via email at moseed@aol.com.

Ben Herrold is Missouri field editor, writing for Missouri Farmer Today, Iowa Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.