The Risk and Profit Conference to be held Aug. 20 and 21 at the Kansas State Alumni Center in Manhattan is designed to give agricultural producers and affiliated businesses a competitive edge in their operations.

Presentations on farm management, technology, marketing and policy issues in agriculture are scheduled by the Department of Agricultural Economics faculty and specialists.

The conference will begin Aug. 20 with a trade show of displays and information by vendors specializing in goods and services for producers and agribusinesses, followed by the first keynote speaker at lunch on Thursday. Breakout sessions will take place in the afternoon, with an evening speaker following.

After breakfast, Friday morning's general session will feature Extension marketing specialist James Mintert, who will share his livestock outlook, and Mike Woolverton will offer his grain outlook. Breakout sessions with numerous contemporary and relevant topics will take place on Thursday afternoon, Friday morning and Friday afternoon. Attendees may choose up to eight of these sessions. The conference concludes late Friday afternoon.

For more information, contact the Finney County Extension Office at 272-3670, Rich Llewelyn at (785) 532-1504 or e-mail, or search the K-State Ag Economics Web site

Germination testing of wheat seed

Fusarium head scab was prevalent on wheat in many parts of Kansas. This disease can reduce germination dramatically in some cases, as well as make reading and understanding a germination test much more difficult. In these instances, having seed professionally tested for germination may be a wise decision.

To have an official germination test on the seed, send it to: Kansas Crop Improvement Association, 2000 Kimball Ave., Manhattan, KS 66502.

If producers want to test their seed for germination at home, it needs to be done correctly to be of value. The following detailed procedure is taken (and slightly modified) from K-State Extension publication AF-82, "Seed Germination Test Methods."

Place two moistened paper towels (on top of each other) on a flat surface. The towels should not have free water in them.

Arrange 50 seeds on the towels leaving approximately an inch border around the edges.

Place two more moistened towels over the seeds.

Make a 1/2 to 3/4 inch fold at the bottom of the four paper towels. This will keep the seed from falling out.

Starting on one side, loosely roll the paper towels toward the other side (like rolling up a rug) and place a rubber band around the roll(s). Place the roll in a plastic bag. Seal, but not completely, so as to keep moisture in but still allow some air into the bag.

For newly harvested seed:

Place the bag upright in the refrigerator for five days and then remove and place upright at room temperature for an additional five to seven days.

Remove the sample from the bag and unroll the towels.

Count and record the number of healthy seedlings (adequate root and shoot development).

For carryover seed, or after Sept. 1:

Place the bag upright at room temperature for five to seven days.

Remove the sample from the bag and unroll the towels.

Count and record the number of healthy seedlings (adequate root and shoot development).

To calculate the germination percentage: divide the number of healthy seedlings by the number of seed tested and multiply by 100.

Example: 42 healthy seedlings X 100 = 84 percent germination from 50 seeds tested. This may be repeated more times for each sample in order to obtain more accurate results, testing up to 400 seeds.

The goal is to have at least 85 percent germination for wheat seed.