Michigan Wheat Program issues call for research proposals

Lansing, Mich. (April 15, 2020) – The Michigan Wheat Program (MWP) is issuing its annual call for research proposals to keep Michigan wheat farmers on the cutting edge of production and competitive in the marketplace. All proposals are due by close of business August 14h to be considered for funding this year.

“In the last eight years, the Michigan Wheat Program has already invested nearly $3.2 million in about 130 research projects,” said David Milligan, the Cass City-area farmer who chairs the nine-member board. “Again this year, we’re looking for projects that address the productivity, profitability and quality of wheat grown in Michigan’s unique climate. The board is also seeking collaborative projects that reflect researchers’ abilities to leverage the expertise of other researchers, other universities and leading-edge wheat producers in on-farm research projects.”

The MWP board is particularly seeking collaborative research projects that leverage grower dollars to address production issues including assessing high-management techniques; evaluating the efficacy of fungicides, herbicides and insecticides; increasing yield potential; improving disease resistance/control to increase grain quality; and identifying necessary plant nutrients that may be limiting yield.

MWP’s board is also interested in market-driven projects that focus on current domestic and export wheat opportunities, value-added applications, nutrition and other new uses of winter wheat.

To date, most MWP-funded projects have been at Michigan State University, although the board is open to researchers in other public institutions or private entities pursuing projects that reflect Michigan’s growing conditions and priorities, according to executive director Jody Pollok-Newsom.

“We need research results that are available to wheat farmers right now to help them with the challenges they are facing in their fields and with their bottom lines,” said Pollok-Newsom.

The full Request for Proposal (RFP), proposal template, priority research areas, the budget submission form and the final report template can be found under the researcher tab up in the corner of the website at www.miwheat.org. Proposals must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Friday, August 14, 2020, for review at the MWP board meeting later in the month. After proposals are reviewed, a presentation may be requested. The board will only consider research requests at its August board meeting due to a limited budget.

Michigan ranks 12th in the nation for wheat production. The record average yield in the Great Lakes State is 89 bushels per acre, compared to 55 bushels per acre nationwide. Michigan growers benefit from wheat processing in five mills in the state that add value to the commodity, along with several end-users located in the Great Lakes region. For more wheat information go to: www.miwheat.org.