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Michigan Wheat Program update

Things have been a little different out in the wheat fields this year.  A surprise appearance by aphids and a serious outbreak of stripe rust have surfaced in an otherwise good growing season. To learn more about those challenges join us at the Summer Field Day.

Register now for Michigan Wheat’s 2016 Summer Field Day!

Farmers should sign up now to attend the Michigan Wheat Program’s Summer Field Day, which will be Wednesday, June 15, at the MSU Saginaw Valley Research & Extension Center, 3775 S. Reese Rd., Frankenmuth. Registration begins at 8:15 a.m. with the wagons loading for the morning tour at 9 a.m.

The Michigan Wheat Program’s Summer Field Day features something for every Michigan farmer who’s ever had a pest, weed, disease, nutrient, or production-related question about their wheat.  In other words, the program has something for everyone.

Six MSU researchers working on projects funded by the Michigan Wheat Program will talk about their most recent findings during the wagon-ride plot tours.

“One of the day’s key presentations is something farmers heard about during our Winter Annual Meeting this past March:  Spray nozzle selection and calibration,” said David Milligan, chair of the nine-member wheat board and a wheat farmer from Cass City.  “There was a lot of interest in this topic, so our new wheat MSU wheat educator worked to develop a session for our summer event.”

Dennis Pennington, MSU wheat educator, will talk about spray nozzle technology during the morning.  Farmers are also invited to bring along samples of wheat they would like to submit to the MSU Plant Diagnostic Lab. The cost of analysis is covered by the Michigan Wheat Program.

After lunch, there will be a major announcement regarding a new partnership between the grower organizations for wheat, sugarbeets, dry beans and Michigan State University and the Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center.

After the announcement there will be a marketing session for those wanting to get the scoop for this marketing season. At 2:30 p.m., attendees have the option to drive to the variety trial plots and see the new varieties being developed by MSU Wheat Breeder Dr. Eric Olson.

The Michigan Wheat Program has applied for CCA credits, as well as RUP credits for those attending the event.

There is no cost to attend the Michigan Wheat Program’s Summer Field Day thanks to the partnership of the Michigan Crop Improvement Association.  To ensure an accurate count for lunch, wagon seating and handout materials, please RSVP at under “What’s Hot.”  Or register by calling 1-888-WHEAT01 (888-943-2801).

Southern Michigan suffers outbreak of wheat stripe rust

MSU Extension wheat educator Martin Nagelkirk reports that what was a small and relatively unusual outbreak of stripe rust, blossomed during the recent very warm weather.

Stripe rust spread across the state during the last week of May, and moved up into the flag leaf of susceptible wheat varieties, Nagelkirk reported.  In some cases, wheat fields may be a total loss.  There is no known resistance to stripe rust.

He urged farmers to scout all wheat fields regularly for stripe rust, and be prepared to use fungicides more aggressively in this growing season.  Nagelkirk and the MSU wheat team have made fungicide recommendations for stripe rust and a few other foliar diseases that have troubled wheat this spring.

To see Nagelkirk’s article and photos on stripe rust, links to treatment options, and to get additional bulletins on breaking wheat news, wheat farmers should subscribe to the free Wheat Wisdom e-newsletter, published by the Michigan Wheat Program.  Visit and complete the brief sing up at the bottom of the home page to get signed up. If you want to see the rust article in the last issue or any other previous issues visit and click on the newsroom tab at the top and then look for Wheat Wisdom.

At the Winter Annual Meeting of the Michigan Wheat Program, farmers overwhelmingly identified the e-newsletter as their best source of information about activities of the wheat check-off program. It is a quick-easy read to find the information important to farmers.