The Success of Organic and Other Sustainable Dual-Purpose Wheat Systems Depend on Access to Adapted Varieties

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2019: $16,500.00
Projected End Date: 08/31/2022
Grant Recipient: Texas A&M University
Region: Southern
State: Texas
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Dr. Bill Pinchak
Texas A&M AgriLife Research


  • Agronomic: wheat
  • Animals: bovine


  • Crop Production: cropping systems, varieties and cultivars
  • Production Systems: integrated crop and livestock systems, organic agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    Dual-purpose wheat cropping systems, which integrate livestock and crop production, are widespread in the Southern Great Plains region. But few of these systems are organic or managed using sustainable practices. A major roadblock to adoption of organic and sustainably managed dual-purpose systems is the identification and availability of wheat varieties adapted to this specialized and demanding purpose. Tolerance of low-N soil conditions, in conjunction with grazing tolerance, canopy architecture and early vigor that enable weed suppression, and consistent food-grade quality grain, are just several of the requirements. In this project, we propose to conduct a rigorous and properly controlled scientific evaluation of 20 diverse wheat varieties that have been utilized in regional wheat systems. All varieties will be tested in low and high-N conditions, and in simulated dual-purpose and grain-only management formats. The treatments will be evaluated for crop traits, including: canopy development and architecture; crop phenology; forage yield and nutritive values; and grain yield and quality parameters. This experimental structure and data collection plan will allow us to scientifically determine the most suitable varieties to recommend to producers in the short-term, but, more importantly, to discern the variation, relationships, and tradeoffs among measured traits critical in developing improved varieties. We expect the outcomes of the project will make organic and sustainable dual-purpose wheat systems more attractive, accessible, and economical to more producers, enhancing the quality of life for wheat and beef producers and society in this rural area. Dissemination of results to stakeholders is one of our primary objectives.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    • Assess canopy development and crop phenology;
    • Evaluate wheat forage yield and nutritive value with simulated grazing;
    • Quantify grain yield and end-use qualities;
    • Determine the variation, relationships, and tradeoffs among measured traits;
    • Disseminate results to stakeholders and the scientific community.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.