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If you think you might have GM wheat...


Washington State University officials have sent a letter to farmers with several recommendations on the possibility of finding genetically modified wheat.



If farmers observe wheat plants surviving a glyphosate treatment they should make a second spot application to the plants, said Jim Moyer, associate dean for research and director of the Agricultural Research Center, and Rich Koenig, associate dean and director of WSU Extension.



If the plants survive the second treatment, Moyer and Koenig recommend that growers contact their local county extension office for assistance with additional sampling and analysis.



They also recommend wheat growers plant certified seed in the fall. Certified seed provides an extra measure of assurance of seed quality and purity, Moyer and Koenig said in the letter.



The university has also launched a comprehensive effort to screen all wheat germplasm in its programs. In public and private varieties representing 90 percent of Washington's soft white wheat crop, researchers found no evidence of glyphosate-resistant wheat. Similar results were found in nearly three-fourths of the less heavily planted spring wheat varieties.



WSU expects testing to be done by the end of June. It will ultimately include all germplasm in the WSU spring and winter wheat breeding programs and the Uniform Cereal Variety Testing Program, Moyer and Koenig said.



-- Matthew Weaver



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