MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — It’s harvesting time, and researchers for the North Central Research extension center are reaping their small grain fields currently.
The center grows a variety of crops for a number of reasons.
There are 64 types of spring wheat in these plots and in addition to being grown here, some of the varieties come from Canada, Montana, and South Dakota.
“These are side-by-side comparisons that we make with all of these varieties. The idea with this research is to allow farmers to make the best chance and to look at the best varieties for our farmer to grow,” said Eric Eriksmoen, a research agronomist at the North Central Extension Center.
A small plot combine was used to harvest the research plots.
Eriksmoen says it makes it easier to compare each type of spring wheat when doing research.
“Allows us to do a lot of sampling, collecting data on a lot of different varieties,” said Eriksmoen.
He says each type of spring wheat will also be tested to check the seed quality.
“Things like baking quality. How good does that grain make a loaf of bread. We’ll also look at things like protein and test weights, some of the quality issues that bakers and millers want to use,” said Eriksmoen.
A production field is what a typical farmer is harvesting at this time of year.
Eriksmoen says the yield outlook is good for this type of wheat.
“This particular crop is yielding very well. We’re seeing yields around 50 bushels per acre. Quality is also very good on this. So it’s gonna be very good seed,” said Eriksmoen.
The seeds from this field’s harvest will be sold to farmers, which is the highest quality and the purest seed available for purchase.
According to the North Dakota Wheat Commission, on average, North Dakota producers plant about 7.5 million acres of wheat, with production totaling 320 million bushels.