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MSU breeding for higher wheat kernel weights  

Michigan State University researchers are trying to replicate high management wheat results experienced in Europe.

Michigan State University Extension’s Dennis Pennington tells Brownfield grain fill analysis by the Great Lakes Yield Enhancement Network finds wheat kernel weights lag European counterparts.

“We’re just not able to fill those grains quite as heavy as what they are, so hopefully we’ll learn some things from this research, this is the first year of doing it,” he shares.

He says growers across the Great Lakes have been able to get good grain fill in terms of the number of kernels, but highly managed European wheat crops produce heavier kernels.

“We have implemented a set of treatments and applications to try to push those yields higher, and then we’re looking at different seeding rates from very low to kind of a standard seeding rate—trying to understand how our varieties respond to the management,” he explains.

He expects the research to result in more efficient wheat varieties for farmers across the region in the coming years.

Farmers from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Ontario participated in the Great Lakes YEN program during the 2023 season.

Pennington will highlight research efforts during this week’s Michigan Wheat Program Summer Field Day.

AUDIO: Dennis Pennington, Michigan State University Extension

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