WSU online tool supplies wheat information

You’re just a few clicks away from just about everything the world knows about wheat and other small grains — or at least how to find the information.

WSU online tool supplies wheat information

You’re just a few clicks away from just about everything the world knows about wheat and other small grains — or at least how to find the information.

A new online decision tool on wheat and barley production from Washington State University can answer lots of your questions, including what varieties are performing best in your area, whether it will rain on Monday, and who has the latest word on control of midges and army-worms.

The website, smallgrains.wsu.edu, might be a good addition to your Internet favorites. It is the latest tool from WSU ag researchers, adding to what is already a mighty menu of farm-related e-locations for your quick reference.

“The dynamic tools help growers make informed decisions based on WSU research,” says Drew Lyon, a WSU crop and soil scientist, who hosts the network with fellow researcher Emily Smudde.

Key Points

Washington State has launched a new small-grains website.

Online information helps growers make variety selection and other decisions.

Washington Grain Commission and WSU provide $100,000 in funding.

Geared toward small grains

The product is aimed mostly at barley and wheat producers in the heart of the Washington small-grains production region in the eastern part of the state.

The WSU Extension Small Grains Team developed the devices for growers on the site to include a variety selection option, which incorporates tons of information harvested from WSU Extension Variety Testing Program plots.

This tool, notes Lyon, “helps growers determine which class of wheat or barley is best to plant based on the precipitation zone where they farm.” To use the online tool, a grower inputs some basic data, and the tool will generate a list of what are probably the best variety choices for the specific farm location. The user will also learn about the yields, disease resistances and test weights of each option.

The site “toolbox” contains icons to open reams of research on not only varieties, but also nitrogen calculations, spring wheat yield formulas and postharvest N advice.

The weather is reported for locations throughout Washington’s wheat region, powered by WSU’s popular AgWeatherNet, which has stations set up in multiple locales.

What’s more, the site helps you keep up with upcoming field meetings in your area that will provide a personal touch with WSU researchers in grains.

Info on markets, pests offered

There’s even more, with the site providing market reports with late grain price updates; breaking news on insects, weeds and diseases; and information on soil and water management techniques.

The site is an example of how industry and WSU have worked together to improve the outreach of Extension to the production arena. It is funded by a $50,000 grant from the Washington Grain Commission, matched by WSU to provide a $100,000 launch budget for the website.

The small-grains team, led by Lyon, is a research machine generating a flow of scientific data to the field. He holds the endowed chair in Small Grains Extension and Research at WSU, a program that reaches to county-level educators in the eastern part of the state.

WSU is also planning a “Wheat Academy” in late summer, as well as several outreach events in 2014. For more information, go to smallgrains.wsu.edu.

Western Farmer-Stockman thanks WSU News service for information in this article.

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PALOUSE ONLINE: Washington State University’s new website brings up-to-date small-grain research information to growers in the field.

This article published in the September, 2014 edition of WESTERN FARMER-STOCKMAN.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2014.

Crop Management

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