"From genetics and seed selection to harvest, South Dakota State University has worked to create a single handbook on how to profitably produce wheat," said Barry Dunn, South Dakota Corn Utilization Council Endowed Dean of the SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences.
The handbook was designed to be the wheat producer's go-to resource, and is based on years of research and development. It was written by SDSU Extension specialists, field specialists, scientists and agronomic leaders; and was developed with the support of the South Dakota Wheat Commission.
"This manual is unlike any other available. Within one book we've compiled all relevant production guidelines, data and research on growing wheat, so farmers have the information they need to make the best decisions possible when it comes to growing their crop," said David Clay, professor of soil science at South Dakota State University. Clay was the editor of the book, and also is one of more than 40 scientists who contributed to the manual.
The first chapter of the book is titled: "Sustainable Production of 100-Bushel Wheat," and it sets the stage for how to achieve the production potential that is outlined in the following chapters.
"At South Dakota State University, we believe that average yields of 100 bushels of wheat per acre is not only possible, but must be achieved to assure the food security of a growing global population," said Dunn. "By paying attention to details, using high quality seed, appropriate crop rotations, and the best management practices that are detailed in this book, producers can see dramatic increases in wheat production and profitability."
Written by Scientists Edited by Producers
Clay says wheat growers were actively involved in developing iGrow Wheat: Best Management Practices for Wheat Production.
"We worked closely with wheat producers to identify the critical topics they wanted included in the book," Clay said. "The process was very inclusive. Each chapter underwent both a scientific review and a farmer review. If there was any information producers didn't clearly understand, we made edits."
Within its 36 chapters, the manual covers a broad spectrum of topics; from Sustainable Production of 100 Bushel Wheat, Winter and Spring Wheat Growth Stages, and Cover Crops Following Wheat; to Nitrogen Management for Wheat Production, Field Scouting Basics and Record Keeping.
"Farmers played a very active role in developing the book and its research," said Randy Englund, Executive Director of the South Dakota Wheat Commission. "Not only did wheat producers provide insight into the manual's design and edit the book, but much of the research conducted happens on their land."
As they compiled research and data while developing each chapter, the team discovered a need for new research projects that continue to expand our understanding of this crop, says Gregg Carlson, SDSU professor of plant science.
"Not only does a project like this bring together the best knowledge we have gathered into one location, but it simultaneously shows us areas where we need to do more research," Carlson said.
Information from manual is available on iGrow.org, as new research and data is developed, the chapters will be updated.
"The electronic version makes this manual a dynamic resource rather than a static one," Englund said. "Agriculture research isn't something you can do in a short time. So, it often takes years to get answers, this book is a culmination of all research conducted over several years - and will continue to expand with new data and research."
iGrow Wheat: Best Management Practices for Wheat Production can be purchased at iGrowMarketplace.org.