Wheat Quality and Marketing Opportunities: Maximizing Profits

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ISSUE

Winter wheat, the third most planted crop in Delaware, is economically important to the region. However, its quality has been threatened by diseases such as Fusarium head blight and Glume blotch as well as environmental issues. Local grain buyers demand quality wheat, often offering financial incentives to growers for premium grain. Growers will need to shift management strategies in order to meet the demand for high-quality grain while avoiding discounts at the elevator.

RESPONSE

The Wheat Quality and Marketing Opportunities: Maximizing Profits meeting was held January 13, 2016, at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in conjunction with 2016 Delaware Agricultural Week. Sponsored by UD Cooperative Extension and the Maryland Crop Improvement Association, the gathering featured industry experts from:

UD Cooperative Extension Mountaire Farms Nagel Farm Service
Kansas State University Purdue Agribusiness  
Syngenta Hostetter Grain  
     
Topics Included:    
Agronomics behind wheat quality Fusarium head blight overview Fusarium head blight overview
Sampling techniques and grain storage for minimizing grain quality

IMPACT

A total of 42 of the 190 participants completed the program evaluation. Respondents identified themselves as:

  •  Growers (62%)
  • Agribusiness salespeople (20%)
  • Grain buyers (7%)
  • Crop consultants (4%)
  • Academics (3.5%)
  • Seed producers (3.5%)

Approximately 67% indicated they gained knowledge and specifically noted a positive increase in the extent of knowledge gained in four categories:

  • Wheat quality
  • Disease management
  • Sampling and storage
  • Marketing wheat

Based on what they learned at the meeting, several respondents noted they would make changes to their wheat management in the future, including:

  • “Variety selection, fungicide timing"
  • “Seed selection”
  • “Pay more attention to scab resistance”
  • “Select varieties based on disease resistance”