Since 2004, more than 140 replicated wheat variety demonstration trials have been conducted throughout the state, Duncan said, "producing unbiased agronomic information that allows producers to make their own variety selection choices. These (Texas) AgriLife Research and Extension efforts have been made possible with the support of the Texas Wheat Producers Board and industry partners."

"The economic benefit of wheat variety research and Extension education for 2009 is estimated at $20.2 million," said Dr. Dean McCorkle, AgriLife Extension economist. "That works out to an economic impact of approximately $24 per acre in increased net returns. This level of economic impact supports an additional 151 jobs with a wage base of $5.1 billion."

Dr. Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension Service economist, said Texas producers plant approximately 6 million acres of wheat each year, more than any other crop, and that this trend should continue into 2011.

"Even with volatile markets and wide swings in growing conditions, wheat is a mainstay for many Texas farmers," he said.

"Wheat prices have soared to two-year highs as the drought in Russia cut exports from the Black Sea region. In response, the world has turned to the U.S. for high quality, dependable wheat supplies. The ensuing bull market for wheat has helped boost profit margins for Texas wheat producers."

b-fannin@tamu.edu