Monday, November 2, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
Since the early 1980’s the statewide average wheat yield in Virginia has increased from an average of 2.8 Mg ha-1 to the current level of 4.3 Mg ha-1. This yield increase is due to improved genetics, bringing increased disease resistance and stress tolerance, and improved management practices that include optimizing plant populations, N application schedules to meet plant needs, and integrated pest management programs. The integration of improved genetics and management practices have supported these yield gains. However, the major management practices were initially developed over 15 years ago and should be reevaluated in light of gains in genetic yield potential and newly available products. Perhaps current intensive management strategies are limiting expression of yield potential, and perhaps new approaches are needed. We propose to evaluate this question with management research focusing on maximum wheat yield in order to determine if a “gap” exists between what growers are producing and what could be produced under Virginia conditions.