Source: Brian Olson, Northwest Area Crops and Soils Specialist, Curtis Thompson, Weed Management Specialist and Jim Shroyer, Extension Agronomy State Leader, Kansas State University

This spring as producers travel by their local county wheat plots, they will likely see a "Wheat's Up" sign posted near the wheat varieties. A Wheat's Up sign indicates that the wheat variety plot is part of a statewide program to educate producers and the agriculture industry on four major components of wheat production. These components are:

  • Weed control 

  • Disease management 

  • Nutrient management 

  • Crop residue management
Each component plays an important part in the development and success of the wheat crop, or the subsequent crop after wheat. K-State Research and Extension agronomists and plant pathologists, along with local agriculture and natural resource agents, have worked together to develop several presentations covering the four major components of production. Producers are highly encouraged to attend the wheat plot tours.

One or more of these components will be presented at each of the Wheat's Up wheat tours.

The weed component will help wheat producers identify weeds in wheat and provide information that will help them practice cost-effective and environmentally sound weed management. It will also help producers understand the benefits and effectiveness of integrated weed management programs, which leads to maximum profitability.

The wheat disease component of the program will help wheat producers better identify which diseases threaten the productivity of their farms, and understand a decision-making process that will help them maximize profitability by using fungicides where needed and avoiding unnecessary pesticide applications.

The nutrient management component of the program will increase wheat producers' knowledge and understanding of the value of soil sampling, as well as macro and micro nutrient management practices. This understanding can lead to more efficient use of nutrients and soil amendments, and increased yields.

The crop residue management component will help participants gain knowledge and a better understanding of the value of residue and stubble height for subsequent crops grown in cropping systems. This can lead to lower production costs, increased water use efficiency, and increased crop yields.

In the end, the goal of the Wheat's Up program is to provide the producer with important information about ways to improve production.