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Sidney , Montana
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November 16, 2016     Sidney Herald
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4B WEDNESDAY, NOV. 16, 2016 Ifarvest SIDNEY HERALD Holy Grail for the Golden Triangle-Researchers seek out durum that resists fusarium BY STEVE DAINES sional Delegation to China determined to u.s. SENATOR break down China's trade barrier on beef BY REN[E JEAN Chair for Montana State University, and and to broaden Chinese markets to fair SMDNEY,EaL0 has been charged with developing better Starting in Malta, I recently made commercial markets, varieties for Montana wheat. several stops along the Hi-Line then north During my engagements with Chi- Sequencing of Chinese spring wheatHe has has many projects going right to Scobey, Plentywood and Westby before nese leaders, the first topic I raised was opened up an opportunity in Montana now, among them a grant proposal to se- heading for Sidney. And from the wheat China's ban on beef to ensure that Chi- that may eventually lead not just to better quence two Montana cultivars, Whiteeye and sugar beet fields to grazing cattle and nese officials knew that beef would stay at wheat varieties and cultivars all around, and Yellowstone. They'll then be com- sheep, visual reminders of the impor- the forefront of all our dialogues until the but a durum wheat that will resist fu- pared back to the Chinese spring wheat, tance of agriculture in Montana were ban was lifted-- and it's great news that sarium head blight. Fusarium can lead to to figure out which genes are doing what. everywhere. China recently announced that it would high vomitoxin, which, at even relatively "If we can get the grant money in 2017, In the Sidney area -- the importance end the ban on United States beef imports low levels, can ruin a grains crop for we will start in one year and finish one of sugar beets to our economy cannot be for the first time since 2003. many purposes, cultivar and then finish the other in the missed. Sugar beets support more than Montana's producers also need to be Durum in the Golden Triangle has second year," Budak said. "We can start 4,000 Montana jobs and contribute hun- able to compete fairly throughout our lacked a strain resistant to fusarium, and using those information in 2018." dreds of millions of dollars to our state's nation. Earlier this year, ! successfully climate changes have been forcing the Montana cultivars could contain genes economy, fought to prevent a Vermont food labeling grain to march further and further west, related to fusarium resistance that are This point was driven home as I toured law from being implemented on a national in search of drier climate, simply not being expressed, Budak said. Sidney Sugars and the Lower Yellowstone scale. This was nothing more than an at- This year in the MonDak, higher than In that case, it should be easy to switch Irrigation Project's (LYIP) Intake Diver- tack on Montana farm and ranch opera- average moisture and temperatures while them back on. sion Dam. These two intricately tied tions and would have been devastating to the crop was flowering led to unusually If Montana cultivars don't have any operations together have a significant im- our sugar beet industry. And as your U.S. high levels of fusarium, even for those of the relevant genes that contribute to pact on the area's economy and Montana senator, I'm asking for your feedback and who had followed the recommended fun- fusarium resistance, other durum and agriculture more broadly. The LYIP pro- ideas to improve the Farm Bill to reflect gicide treatment and other management bread wheat varieties that do have it will vides water for over 50,000 acres of sugar your priorities for the future. I'm dedicat- techniques. Wheat was already facing be examined. Genes from them can then beets. The fact is that without the critical ed to ensuring the effective implementa- historic low prices. The historic high be re-introduced to Montana breeding water from the LYIP, Sidney Sugars would tion of the 2014 Farm Bill for farmers and vomitoxin content on top of that was a programs. cease to exist. I want to assure you that I ranchers, and I'm also working to im- terrible blow to many operations. "In Morocoo in dry areas, they have a will continue to support robust funding prove the bill as negotiation for the next Grains contaminated with too much 30,000 germplasm collection, so some of for the dam's operation and will fight ef- Farm Bill are in the beginning stages, vomitoxin aren't accepted at area eleva- them include like 2,500 durum and there forts to obstruct needed improvements or I also want to take this opportunity to tors. are bread wheat varieties as well. We can maintenance, let you know that I'll be hosting the Mon- At certain levels, it's even too high to use that perhaps, or we can look at land Our state's immense agriculture tana Ag Summit in Great Falls in May feed cattle, who tend to be less sensitive to races to see if they have the genes." resources put us in an ideal position to 2017. It will be an exciting celebration of the disease. Some farmers have said they Budak is not only interested in finding help feed.not only our nation, but also the Montana agriculture and an opportunity are planning to burn their crop where it the genes for fusarium resistance, but he world. In order to do this and compete to discuss challenges facing our farmers lies. is also looking to develop wheat lines that with international markets, Montana's and ranchers with local and national ag- A durum with resistance to vomitoxin are drought tolerant while preserving growers need to be able to efficiently riculture leaders. Protecting and promot- is thus a Holy Graft in the Golden Tri- yields, varieties with better micronu- export their world-class products, ing Montana agriculture is one of my top angle. It's been elusive, but would also be trients and varieties that can withstand In a state where there are twice as many priorities in Congress and I look forward a Godsend if it can be found, orange blossom wheat midge better. cattle as people, beef exports are vital to to continuing to work with all of you to Hikmet Budak is among those working "Micronutrient deficiencies are deft- creating Montana jobs and growing our defend and grow Montana agriculture for toward this aim. He was hired last year as nitely a big problem everywhere," Budak local economy. This May, I led a Congres- generations to come. the first endowed Montana Plant Sciences said. 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