Strong prices and demand for Texas wheat has placed the outlook for the commodity as a whole on the bright side, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service specialist.

Dr. Rob Duncan, AgriLife Extension small grains specialist, said 2010 was a strong year for the state’s wheat producers. He said one reasons is that Texas wheat producers are utilizing more research and educational information to make their operations more profitable and to take advantage of high prices over the past two years.

"Approximately 80 percent of Texas wheat producers incorporate research results and demonstration efforts in making variety choices for crops," he said.

Variety selection has become more critical in wheat planting statewide due to increased fluctuations in weather patterns over the past decade and to achieve higher yields to meet greater demand worldwide.

"One of the most important decisions a wheat grower makes is the selection of a variety well-adapted to his or her specific growing region," Duncan said. "If you look over the past decade, increased periods of drought or mild-drought conditions have caused many producers to give a closer look at the varieties they choose to plant."

Duncan said public and private wheat breeders have made significant improvements in yield, disease and insect resistance and grain quality.

"These new varieties need to be continually evaluated to assess yield and quality traits for each specific growing region," he said.