Kansas Wheat Farmers’ largest investment in research began nearly a decade ago when the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center opened its doors. Since then, the center has set a standard of excellence for wheat research and has worked to meet the specific needs of Kansas wheat growers. In recognition of the next decade milestone, the Kansas Wheat Commission has embarked on a statewide effort to gather input from Kansas wheat farmers on the future – positioning the commission to continue find innovative solutions to position wheat producers for success.
The effort included eight roundtables involving 120 Kansas wheat farmers. Farmers shared their views on barriers such as infrastructure, market volatility and supply chain disruptions, as well as the value they see in improving genetics, production practices sustainability and region-specific management practices.
“One of the roundtable participants said, ‘It’s the little things together that make wheat pay’,” said Kansas Wheat CEO Justin Gilpin. “Helping farmers manage all these little things well is our role as a check-off. We need input from farmers to make sure we do this as efficiently as possible.
Roundtable discussions indicated that Kansas wheat farmers particularly value programs that highlight best practices, provide opportunities to connect with others in the industry, and offer operation- or region-specific guidance. . One of the Kansas Wheat programs that received praise during the talks was the Kansas Wheat Rx program, which helps farmers make management decisions and choose varieties based on the characteristics of their individual growing region.
Based on the feedback, Gilpin said the Kansas Wheat team will continue to focus on research, education and information services that address farmer concerns and promote market development.
“Every day, our team is focused on providing the information and services needed to ensure that all the elements farmers can control – genetics, agronomic and management decisions – work together,” he said. declared. “The feedback provided during the statewide discussions has strengthened our focus as a team and will help us determine how to best meet the needs of Kansas wheat farmers.”
The farmers of these round tables also confirmed the following commitments:
- Using cutting-edge research to deliberately select wheat varieties and employ region-specific management practices to produce the best wheat crop possible.
- Explore new marketing opportunities presented by preferred variety programs and produce high protein wheat to meet market demand.
- Make agronomic decisions and apply research to reduce inputs and select wheat varieties that perform well in their region.
- Provide transparency with consumers to share the story of producing a safe and nutritious wheat crop.
- Continue to work to get improved wheat varieties into the hands of farmers faster.
- Helping producers translate research innovation into practical on-farm management decisions through regional Wheat Rx programs and other outreach activities.
An executive summary of Kansas Wheat farmer stakeholder feedback is available at https://kswheat.com/sites/default/files/kansas_wheat_stakeholder_executive_summary_2022.pdf.