For many farmers, seeing corn production top 200 or 250 bushels an acre simply leaves them wondering, “Why can’t wheat get over 100, 150 bushels an acre?” Winter wheat can, and certainly spring wheat does now and again, but not consistently enough to pull the averages up even into the high 90s for many farms. Hybridization of canola and corn have worked, dare we say it, miracles for those crops. Where is wheat’s hybrid solution?
First off, hybridization of wheat is in the works. But, perhaps more importantly, farmers and industry need to be realistic about what hybrid wheat will actually mean on the farm. For those expecting a sudden jump of spring wheat consistently yielding over 100 or 150 bushels an acre need to keep their expectations in check. As Francis Kirigwi, wheat breeder with Syngenta Canada, shares in this Wheat School episode, wheat breeding is complex and there’s so much more to be done even if breeders perfect hybridization.
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