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Two Farmers Discover 125 BU/Acre Wheat
Phenomenal wheat yields of 125 bu. per acre are being realized south of Battleford, Sask. by farmers David Owen and Ed Ilnicki. The test plots were a sight to behold last summer with thousands of golden heads bulging with the result of several months of growth.
The new wheat stands at least 20 inches higher than Canadian strains now being used. An average single planted kernel stools out twelve to twenty stems, dramatically thickening the crop.
The enlarged heads hold four times the normal number of kernels, threshing out over two hundred in many cases. The stem is of a solid type, creating a water reserve, which adds to drought resistancy in cornparison to other hollow stemmed wheats. The leaf is a broad ample protrusion that would be unlikely to disintegrate when baled.
One of the amazing features of the wheat is its high protein content. Owen and Ilnicki tested it last year at 15.3% protein and this year topped that at 16.7%.
The test plot on the Ilnicki farm was sown into canola (rape seed) stubble, and not fertilized or irrigated but it was sprayed with 2-4D.
The apparent drawbacks are few at this point, says Ilnicki: A swath could not be more than ten to twelve feet wide or combines may have difficulty handling the bulk and the wheat takes approximately ten days longer to maturity than varieties commonly used in the area. Owen and Ilnicki both say any possible disadvantages of the wheat are minimal when compared to the positive aspects of growing the wheat.
There are many questions to be answered about this wheat however. That can only be done through the correct government channels if the variety is to be registered and nationwide recognition would be doubtful if the wheat were not licensed.
The two growers at this time do not want to reveal the source of the original kernels that were planted three years ago, and do not feel they want to part with enough seed to run government tests until they have completed one more season and multiplied their quantities.
Photos and story reprinted with permission from Battleford Telegraph, Battleford, Sask.

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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #6