January 24, 2018

Texas farm manager uses expertise to get ahead of disease pressure

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Tragellas Family Farms

When managing a wheat farm, success depends on a number of factors: years of experience, a keen knowledge of key threats to your yield, and an understanding of how to not only handle those threats but also head them off with early detection.

Cameron McAnally is a farm manager for Tregellas Family Farms, a large-scale, multigenerational, mostly dryland operation. Tregellas Family Farms produces wheat, grain sorghum and corn in Perryton, Texas, dating back to the late 1800s. Cameron grew up on his own fourth-generation family farm that grew dryland wheat, sorghum and cotton and began his career as a crop consultant and agronomist out of college.

We were able to catch up with Cameron and ask him about his experiences on his wheat farm, how he stays ahead of disease pressures and how WestBred® wheat helps him get the most out of his potential yield.

The Tiller: What's your favorite part about farming?

Cameron McAnally: Agriculture is all I have ever known. It’s in my blood. Being able to plant a crop in the fall, watch it grow all winter, then harvest a good crop in the summer is a truly rewarding process.

Wheat harvest has always been my favorite time of the year. In the community in which I grew up, getting the first load of wheat harvested is always a competition of sorts. One of my fondest memories was the year I got to personally deliver the first load to the elevator.

TT: What are the some of the biggest challenges you face in the field?

CM: In our part of the world, every year has its challenges. Whether it’s the greenbugs and Russian wheat aphids that pop up every so often, or the disease pressure and rust caused by the blessing of moisture we’ve had the last few springs, or the drought last fall that delayed our wheat’s germination up to January and February.

Identifying problems when they arise and making sound management decisions to combat the issues has ensured our success over the years. Just getting out in the field and scouting to identify problems is the best way, in my experience, to begin the process and overcome the struggles we face.

TT:  What new ideas or processes are you bringing to your wheat fields? Are you trying new varieties or new strategies?

CM: We always try to be on the forefront of technology. We’re always trying to do what is best for our soil, crops and bottom line. We try new varieties yearly, but lately Winterhawk has been a great fit for our farm.

Our operation is mostly no-till as a means of added soil moisture retention. All of our wheat is harvested with Shelbourne Reynolds stripper headers, which only take in the head of the wheat leaving the stubble to help hold and protect the soil.

TT: How are you managing your soil with nutrients throughout the season?

CM: We soil test and apply nutrients as precisely as possible with the drill at planting and again in the spring via top-dress. I also use a Trimble GreenSeeker and nitrogen-rich strips to aid in the nutrient management.

TT: Outside of a variety, how has WestBred wheat helped you and your farm?

CM: Our local dealers, Lonnie Clemmons and Matt Stienert, have been a wealth of knowledge over the years and are always there for us to answer questions and help us out when we need something.

Need more timely tips to take your yield potential to the next level? Check out our agronomy section or figure out which variety would be best for your field.

To share your wheat story with WestBred, contact us at the.tiller@westbred.com or contact us through our Facebook® or Twitter® pages.

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