IDAHO WHEAT COMMISSION

Focus on Research

Featured Research News

Focus on Research will arrive in your inbox monthly, with information about research projects being funded by Idaho wheat grower dollars, crop updates, drought and water updates, and agronomic topics that you can apply on your farm.  Most of our topics will be an expansion of the research notes provided in the weekly Idaho Wheat Report newsletter you get every Friday, with links to additional information that will benefit your production practices.  We hope you enjoy digging into these research topics and seeing your grower dollars at work.

Let me explain why gene editing will change our food, for the better

Genome editing is a technology that allows researchers to develop new plant varieties with interesting characteristics, such as disease resistance. However, according to European legislation, these are potentially dangerous GMOs. But is it really so?
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Improving Nitrogen Management on Dryland

Nitrogen management in semi-arid dryland winter wheat production systems in Southeast Idaho is particularly complicated due to year to year variability in precipitation.
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UI Lime Application Study Assesses Looming Soil Threat

University of Idaho Extension barley agronomist Jared Spackman and UI Extension cropping systems agronomist Kurt Schroeder suspect many fields throughout Idaho that have historically been suitable for grain production but have been trending acidic are finally getting too far out of balance.
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Latest Research News

Let me explain why gene editing will change our food, for the better

Genome editing is a technology that allows researchers to develop new plant varieties with interesting characteristics, such as disease resistance. However, according to European legislation, these are potentially dangerous GMOs. But is it really so?
Read more
Watch video

Scientists discover wheat landraces with resistance to the impacts of drought, heat, and climate change

CIMMYT scientists have screened a sample of 990 bread wheat landraces using genome-environment associations against seven key climatic variables. The research identified proteins associated with drought and heat tolerance that can be used to improve modern wheat varieties and better adapt to extreme environments.
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Old plants and new genetics to improve wheat varieties

Genetic resources of crop plants are being held in nearly 2,000 gene banks around the world.
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Promoting plant, animal genetic research collaboration

A University of Idaho livestock genetic scientist is part of an initiative that was recently awarded $1.9 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture funds to promote collaboration among plant and animal genomic researchers.
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Improving Nitrogen Management on Dryland

Nitrogen management in semi-arid dryland winter wheat production systems in Southeast Idaho is particularly complicated due to year to year variability in precipitation.
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CRISPR-pedia: How will CRISPR tools help feed future generations?

The world population is growing. At the same time, researchers and farmers need to figure out how to adapt agriculture to changing, and sometimes increasingly harsh environmental conditions.
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OSU scientist discovers wheat gene that increases grain yield

Building the genetic makeup for the ideal wheat crop is no easy task. Just ask Liuling Yan, the Dillon and Lois Hodges professor of wheat molecular genetics and breeding in the Oklahoma State University Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, who recently discovered the TaCol-B5 gene in wheat plants. What makes this gene so special?
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Researchers have developed a potential super wheat for salty soils

Researchers have developed several new varieties of wheat that tolerate soils with higher salt concentrations. After having mutated a wheat variety from Bangladesh, they now have a wheat with seeds that weigh three times more and that germinate almost twice as often as the original variety.
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Development of Resistant Wheat Cultivars for Management of Hessian Fly in Idaho

Yield reductions due to Hessian fly infestation of spring and winter wheat can be significant in northern Idaho. However, widespread economic losses in the region have not occurred in recent years due to effective resistance in many of the most widely planted and highest-yielding varieties.
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Dairy Manure Applications in Irrigated Wheat Production Systems

Do fertilizer prices have you considering alternative nutrient sources for your grain production? Do you have a neighboring dairy wanting to incorporate manure into your cropping system?
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Give Your Soil Routine Checkups: Improve Soil Health by Establishing Long-Term Goals

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University of Idaho Extension Publishes New Take-All Bulletin

The University of Idaho Extension has published a new bulletin focusing on management of Take-All Disease of Wheat in Idaho.
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UI Lime Application Study Assesses Looming Soil Threat

University of Idaho Extension barley agronomist Jared Spackman and UI Extension cropping systems agronomist Kurt Schroeder suspect many fields throughout Idaho that have historically been suitable for grain production but have been trending acidic are finally getting too far out of balance.
Read more
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Stripe Rust Spring Wheat Resistance Ratings

The Idaho Wheat Commission supports a multi-layered project to study the stripe rust epidemic through a collaboration between the USDA-ARS, Washington State University, and the University of Idaho.
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CRISPR in Agriculture: An Era of Food Evolution

Some of the foods we know and love could be gone from the planet faster than you might think - chocolate might be gone in 40 years and oranges are under threat as well.
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Weed-specific Robotic Sprayers at Agriculture's Door

Farmer-built, weed-specific sprayers are on the near-horizon for agriculture.
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An Inside Look at Agoro Carbon's $9 Million to Farmers in its First Year

Agoro Carbon Alliance has announced a total payment of $9 million to farmers and ranchers enrolled in the first year of the carbon credit program. This carbon market was launched in June of 2021.
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Harvest Weed Seed Control

For Idaho growers concerned about increasing levels of herbicide-resistant weed seeds in their fields, harvest weed seed control systems may present a new approach.
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Hessian Fly Screening

Yield reductions due to Hessian fly infestation of spring and winter wheat can be significant in northern Idaho.
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Cereal grass aphids: a new pest in town

According to recently published research led by University of Idaho scientists, grain farmers in the Pacific Northwest should be cognizant of a relative newcomer to the region’s pest scene that seems to thrive with fewer hot days than other aphid species require.
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WSU Grant for Wheat Drought and Heat Resilience

An effort to identify genes in spring wheat that would allow it to be more heat and drought resilient recently earned more than $2 million in funding.
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FDA Favorably Concludes HB4 Wheat Food and Feed Safety Evaluation

Upon review of all the safety and regulatory information submitted, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concluded that it has no further questions regarding the safety of HB4® Wheat, and that it does not raise issues that would require premarket review or approval by FDA.
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The Feekes Scale: Crop Staging in Wheat

As harvest approaches, you’ve likely become acutely aware of the developmental stage of your wheat crop.
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Effects of the Cereal Seed Microbiome on Amylase Activity and Falling Numbers

In a study funded by the Idaho Wheat Commission, Drs. Barrie Robison, Mary Ridout, and Leonora Bittleston explored the connections between starch quality and the microbiome -- the microorganisms in a particular environment...
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University of Idaho developing novel app to identify farm pests

A University of Idaho research team is refining a first-of-its-kind app that will allow grain farmers to instantly identify common pests and beneficial insects inhabiting their fields.
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Diagram Links Physiological Traits of Wheat for Yield Potential

Researchers at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) have proposed a new diagram to show how wheat yields are determined.
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Adam Lasch and "Biological Capital"

In this podcast that explores some on-farm cover crop strategies, we are introduced to first generation farmer, Adam Lasch, a no-tiller who started his farming career in 2011.
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End-Use Quality Starts with Variety Selection

When consumers “eat wheat”, it is rarely in the kernel form that leaves your farm. There are at least two major steps required before enjoying a wheat product: milling and baking.
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Liming for Improved Nutrient Utilization

Does a soil pH problem have you stumped? Have you wondered how soil pH is affecting the nutrient availability on your own farm?
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Wheat Characteristics under Varied Irrigation

In a January 2022 bulletin, Drs. Walsh, Jayawardena, Liang, and Torrion published the findings of a 2016 and 2017 study on wheat in Montana and Idaho.
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Cloning gene in wheat cultivar shows promise in battling disease

Identifying and cloning a gene from a wheat cultivar resistant to stripe rust could lead to new cultivars that recognize and resist disease ...
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Discovery of wheat's clustered chemical defenses creates new avenues for research

A research collaboration has helped to explain the chemical defenses that protect wheat plants against disease ...
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Canopy Sensors in Wheat

Do high fertilizer prices have you considering a split Nitrogen application?
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Glyphosate Alternatives for Preplant Burndown

With rapidly increasing prices and increased reliance on glyphosate, it may be time to start looking elsewhere for your preplant burndown herbicide...
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