CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Wheat breeders have completed their work mapping all the genes in wheat. While that may be big news in Kansas–or the Pacific Northwest–Stu Ellis reported central Illinois farmers could even take better advantage of it.
Jessica Rutkoski is a wheat breeder from the University of Illinois, and there is some exciting news about wheat that could bring it back into a significant crop in central Illinois.
“Our work is about increasing the profitability in the state, especially in the wheat-soybean double cropping system,” said Rutkoski. “So our ability to use that genomic information and help us accelerate the breeding process definitely makes it possible to improve wheat at a faster rate.”
Rutkoski said she thinks they can achieve a yield of 100 bushels per acre.
And at today’s prices, that would be competing with corn and beans for per-acre-profitability, would it not?
“And especially when you are talking about wheat and beans together in the same season,” said Rutkoski.
A lot of farmers are familiar with double cropping wheat, most of them are in the southern part of Illinois. But if we do it in central Illinois, that is a very significant change in crop rotation.
“Right, so if we can move it a little bit further north, we know the genetics is just getting earlier and earlier on the wheat side,” said Rutkoski. “And so we can combine and get that early maturity with a high yield is just what I try to do every day when I go to work, and also keep scab under control, then I think we have a pretty viable option there.”
You want to remember the name of Jessica Rutkoski because that may be very important in your future crop planning plans.