On Tuesday, the Wilton Shooter & Sons Farm outside Rowland, in Robeson County, NC and Georgia Love, with NC State Extension hosted the first of four small grains field days that were funded by the NC Small Grains Association, and trials and locations were selected based on grower request.
Dan Weathington, Executive Director of the North Carolina Small Grains Association: "We've added support to another location this year."
SFN: We're speaking from the southern part of the state today, which as far as small grains is concerned, has kind of been overlooked:
"That is correct. As you'll recall in our program today, about two years ago our Board of Directors - Eddie Moore our President who happens to be from Red Springs area - and I talked about it one day and we made a proposal to our Research & Education Committee that we get some research that is fitted to the local farmers in the lower coastal plains; different soil types in other parts of the states - varieties act differently on these soil types; and coastal practices of the farmers. We just felt like this was an area we needed to improve on, research for locally - farmer oriented - for how they're growing wheat in these different soil types."
SFN: Not just different soil types, the weather patterns are different, you know, this part of the state has not had a scab problem this year - in fact they had to infect it so it would have a scab problem... but that's not the case everywhere."
"No, that's not the case everywhere. And that's a problem we don't want to have! Like we did about three years ago it had devestating effects on wheat crop in North Carolina because it was a while before we were able to blend and get those levels down to where we could actually use the wheat that was produced. But not only scab, but we look at these other diseases: powdery mildew, hessian fly, cereal leaf beatle. It's important that we take a look at all these pests and insects and fungus that attack our wheat and try to help our farmers improve their bottom line and that's what we're trying to do with the assessment dollars that we collect from farmers. That's how our organization is run and we try to use those dollars wisely."
The remaining field days are today in Beaufort County; May 17th in Union County; and the Northeast Ag Expo in Perquimans County on May 19th.
For more details on the NCSU Extension field days, click here...
NEW Information Tool: The National Wheat and Barley Scab initiaative at Penn State has made a quick guide website of key management information for small grains affected by Scab: www.scabsmart.org