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LANSING, MI -- The Michigan Wheat Program (MWP) is issuing its fourth annual call for research proposals to keep Michigan wheat farmers productive and competitive in the marketplace.

"The Michigan Wheat Program, in just four short years, has already invested over $1 million in 50 research projects," said David Milligan, the Cass City-area farmer who chairs the nine-member board. "Again this year we are looking for projects that address the productivity, profitability and quality of wheat grown in Michigan's unique climate."

To date, most projects have been funded at Michigan State University, although the board is open to researchers in other public institutions or private entities pursuing projects that reflect Michigan's growing conditions and priorities, according to executive director Jody Pollok-Newsom.

The MWP board is particularly seeking research projects that address production issues including high-management techniques, crop rotation, cover crops and nutrient management, as well as insect, weed and disease control. MWP's board is also interested in market-driven projects that focus on current domestic and export wheat opportunities, value-added applications, nutrition and other new uses of winter wheat.

The full Request for Proposals (RFP) and the budget submission form can be found at http://www.miwheat.org. Proposals must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Monday, August 3, 2015, for review at the August board meeting or 5 p.m., Monday, September 14, 2015 for board review at the September board meeting. After proposals are reviewed, a presentation may be requested. The board does consider other research proposals submitted throughout the year.

Michigan ranks 12th in the nation for wheat production and the average yield is 76 bushels per acre here in the Great Lakes State compared to 47 nationwide. Michigan growers benefit from five mills in the state that add value to the commodity, and several local significant end users including General Mills, Jiffy, Kellogg and Mondelez International.

MWP is a check-off organization funded by nearly 8,000 wheat farmers who grow wheat in 50 of Michigan's 83 counties. Michigan wheat farmers plant 500,000 acres of red and white winter wheat annually, resulting in a crop of about 40 million bushels on average. The state's wheat crop has a total economic impact of about $388 million annually.

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