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Kansas growers to pay more for wheat check-off

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas growers will soon be paying more for the wheat "check-off" program that supports research and market development.

The Kansas Wheat Commission announced Thursday that its board has approved a check-off increase to 2 cents per bushel from the current 1.5 cents per bushel, effective Nov. 1.

Commission chairman Ron Suppes says that shrinking government research funding -- combined with fewer wheat acres and smaller crops -- make it more vital than ever for farmers to invest in their industry.

The new Kansas Wheat Innovation Center that opened last December is a $10.3 million research facility that is expected to create new wheat varieties.

The industry group says the check-off increase will help pay down debt on the building and fund research at the center.