PULLMAN, Wash. — The Wheat Coordinated Agriculture Program is inviting western wheat researchers, extension education field faculty and staff, and seed dealers working with wheat-based cropping systems to a joint western region wheat program planning meeting to be held June 20-21 at Washington State University here.
“The Wheat Coordinated Agriculture Program is a federally funded grant to wheat breeding programs throughout the nation,” explained Kim Campbell, USDA-Agricultural Research Service wheat geneticist. “The grant integrates modern molecular selection tools into wheat breeding.”
This is the first meeting of its kind to include state and federal wheat researchers, extension and field personnel, she said. “We hope to establish the precedent and then continue to have the meeting in this format every year, rotating through different venues in the West.”
The primary objectives of this meeting are to develop better working relationships between wheat researchers, off-campus extension agriculture faculty and staff, and seed dealers to explore the potential for developing collaborative programs, and to provide feedback from field faculty and staff to the wheat research community relative to research needs,” Campbell said.
The program will include presentations by research faculty on emerging diseases, pests, nitrogen management and integration of molecular tools into crop improvement programs. Extension faculty and seed dealers will be asked to select priority target issues including cropping systems, alternative crops, control of pests and diseases, emerging weed problems and their control. Discussion opportunities will follow.
The event includes a marker-assisted selection workshop presented by WSU and USDA wheat geneticists. Participants will get hands-on experience applying biotechnology techniques to wheat improvement. There will be opportunity to cross-hybridize wheat plants, extract DNA, conduct molecular marker analyses and select plants based on their marker profiles to advance to the next stage of the breeding process. Participants will gain a clear understanding of the application potential of DNA marker technology to variety development.
The planning meeting is sponsored by the Wheat Coordinated Agriculture Program grant “Wheat Applied Genomics”, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, National Research Initiative.
– 30 –