MKC Wheat School

Aug 19, 2021
It's been some time since we've had the opportunity to host an in-person event, so our level of excitementblog_image3-(2).jpg was high as we hosted the first-ever MKC Wheat School in Newton on August 13. We were honored to host more than 100 producers and employees eager to learn about wheat fertility management, wheat placement, disease management and key products from our guest speakers. 

Speakers included Dr. Brian Arnall, precision nutrient management extension specialist at Oklahoma State University; Lance Embree, WestBred Wheat regional sales manager; John Fenderson, WestBred Wheat technical agronomist; and Jeff Ball, Bayer Crop Science senior customer business advisor.  

Kent Nicholas, MKC regional sales manager, kicked off Wheat School with a warm welcome, followed by Jake Shelton, MKC seed manager. Shelton provided an overview of MKC's contribution and added value to wheat production. Shelton reviewed MKC's recent investments in wheat production and wheat cleaning equipment and gave insight into the CoAxium system along with best practices for use. 

Wheat Fertility Management 

Arnall traveled from Oklahoma State University to Newton to discuss the importance of producing good wheat when the current fertilizer price is high. Dr. Arnall stressed the importance of being as efficient as possible to get the best return on investment. But you might wonder how is this possible? One way is to understand the importance of proper fertility. Before making management decisions, it is crucial to start with a soil test to have a general idea of what you are dealing with in your field. The next step is knowing your soil pH due to the impact it has on herbicides. Lastly, Dr. Arnall expressed the importance of not skipping phosphorus and potassium applications when the plant needs it the most.  Wheat is a very resilient crop that can endure nitrogen stress for a significant period of time and fully recover. 

In some cases, it is better to delay nitrogen application to avoid conditions conducive to nitrogen loss. Therefore, don't rush an application and miss-manage your crop. Planning is essential and it all starts with the health of your soil. 

WestBred Wheat History and Varieties 

WestBred Wheat's Embree and Fenderson shared the history of WestBred Wheat and provided an update onblog_image2-(1).jpg the product lineup. One of the many unique things about Westbred Wheat is the base genetics and innovative technology that improves the quality of their wheat. Their advanced technology includes; molecular breeding, seed chipper and the doubled haploid process, which are all things that are done while researching a variety before it is brought to the market. Right now, WestBred has a lineup of varieties that can fit the needs of many growing conditions because of the impeccable research they are doing. For a grower, it is essential to figure out your yield goals and expectations and find a variety that is the best fit for you. 

Disease Management 

How can we keep the disease gate closed and lock in yield potential? Bayer Crop Sciences Ball educated the group on the importance of seed treatments and fungicide application. Seed treatments can deliver early-season protection against damaged caused by aphids, wireworms and hessian fly. In addition, when considering fungicide applications, it is important to consider timing. This is key because getting the fungicide on the crop before the disease can be a win for production.  

Wheat School was a successful event to educate producers about the importance of knowing the conditions you are dealing with before making decisions, having goals and expectations for your wheat production outlined to pick the variety that best suits you and protecting your crop from disease and insect pressure with seed treatments and fungicides. Be on the lookout for more educational events hosted by MKC.