More than $3 Million in Production Research and Education
After 25 years of dedicating more than $3 million to production research, Kentucky wheat production has increased 87%. And while the past few years have not been record production years, the average wheat yields - 80 bu/A in 2016 and 77 bu/A in 2017 - are the highest recorded in Kentucky history. In fact, increases in average Kentucky wheat yields have exceeded that of corn for the same 25 year period. This tremendous growth is primarily due to the collaboration between farmers, the University of Kentucky’s research and extension team, crop consultants, and end-users.
The Kentucky Small Grain Utilization Fund and our farmer-led Promotion Council was formed in 1991 to direct checkoff toward wheat and small grains research and grower education. UK’s Wheat Science Group has worked to develop varieties that perform well under Kentucky conditions, and agronomic practices continue to be fine-tuned for the highest profitability. Much of our research centered on intensive management and no-till practices for many years, and now we are looking at technology and methods that may be considered beyond standard thinking: reducing the fragipan, soil irrigation, and disease control alternatives, to name a few.
More than $2.5 million have been directed to research projects aimed at increasing profitability for Kentucky's small grain farmers. See the latest list of projects and research reports.
Providing the latest agronomic and marketing information helps growers make decisions on their farms for maximum profitability. See our list of production resources and education events.
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Snapshot of Kentucky's Small Grain Production
The USDA released the results from the 2012 Ag Census in 2014. We made note of the farms and acres devoted to small grain production in the Commonwealth. While the Kentucky Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Office regularly keeps data on wheat produced within the Commonwealth, the 5-year census is the only document that reports on lesser small grains.