Recently, the Pacific Northwest Ag Network went to the 2024 Horse Heaven Field Day, and interviewed Bailey Jenks, the Pacific Northwest regional commercial manager for Limagrain Cereal Seeds.

PNW Ag: What are we doing here today with the field day?

Bailey: We are here listening to Clark Neely and the WSU team talking about their winter wheat plots, their spring wheat plots. Across the state, they have a bunch of different trial sites where growers can see how different varieties perform in different rainfall zones, different maturity zones, and really get the best idea of what variety is going to do best on their farm.

PNW Ag: Now, do the seeds go through you first and then out to the field or vice versa, where they go out to the field testing and then come to you?

Bailey: So our breeding program will enter experimental lines into the WSU / Oregon State / University of Idaho trial network. Then based off that data, we will decide if they are eligible for release, if they're good enough to be on a grower's farm, or if there's some tweaks and some genetics that we need to make to really hit that area. We can take that data and use it in our breeding program to get you guys the best varieties out there.

PNW Ag: Do you have other tours other than Horse Heaven coming up?

Bailey: Yes. So this is actually the first WSU field day of the season. So we're kicking it off for probably the next three, four weeks, maybe even six weeks. If you throw in Idaho, the extension team and the breeding programs are going to be out on the road talking with growers, seeing how these wheat fields look, and really making the best recommendations of what varieties do well.

PNW Ag: Is there anywhere people can look up to find these tours? So if they want to join, they can?

Bailey: Yes. So on the WSU small grains website, there is a list of tours and locations, and GPS coordinates as well. If you go to the Oregon site, there's some there. I don't know if the University of Idaho ones are posted yet, because they're just a little bit later in the growing season than us, but they should be posted as well. So no matter where you are, there's some sort of trial and some sort of network near you.

PNW Ag: Are the rest of the tours going to be at a physical address first or meeting out in the field?

Bailey: On the flyer that Clark has posted online, usually if the location just has site coordinates, that means we're meeting at the site. If there's like on this one today, where we're meeting at the Horse Heaven Community Center, that'll indicate if there's going to be some sort of program beforehand where you'll hear from NRCS, FSA, Washington Wheat, Washington Wheat Growers. All of these different organizations can bring you tools and information that you may not be able to hear about otherwise.

PNW Ag: Perfect. Is there anything else you'd like to add about these tours?

Bailey: You know, the wheat's looking really good this year. We've got some really timely rains, so I'm excited to see how everything performs.

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