Wheat harvest across Kansas has commenced. The Grain Science and Industry Department at Kansas State University has a new program that will allow interested parties the ability to track harvest and wheat quality as soon as the data is available.

Until recently, wheat harvest data such as protein content, test weight and flour characteristics were made available at the end of harvest by various organizations. As part of its newly developed Quality-Based Commodity Marketing program, K-State Research and Extension, in partnership with the International Grains Program, Kansas Wheat and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association, will work with local grain elevators across Kansas to make the data available as soon as testing occurs.

Participating local elevators will submit wheat samples and the testing will occur at K-State´s Wheat Quality Laboratory and the Kansas Grain Inspection Laboratory. Once the samples have been tested and the data has been entered, GIS mapping technology developed by K-State´s Department of Geography, will allow interested parties to view wheat quality data by region across Kansas on the K-State Grain Science and Industry´s department Web site, www.grains.ksu.edu.

In addition, several wheat producers representing various growing regions across Kansas have agreed to participate in frequent updates as harvest progresses.

"These interviews will provide an on-the-ground perspective from wheat producers during harvest and provide additional interpretation to the data reflected in the survey," said Mark Fowler, associate director of the International Grains Program. Having immediate access to wheat quality data will help grain purchasing agents determine their decisions regarding commodity purchasing and will help many international buying agents in foreign countries.

"We´re excited about the collaboration between the participating organizations as we launch this new initiative to report on the quality of the Kansas wheat harvest in a near real-time format," said Leland McKinney, Extension state leader in grain science. More information is available by contacting McKinney at lelandm@ksu.edu.