“Some of the late harvest issues can cause preharvest sprouting, and falling number issues can happen particularly when we have excessive rain events and also wild temperature fluctuations,” he explains. According to a June 28 USDA acreage summary report, U.S. winter wheat planted area for 2019 is estimated at 45.6 million acres, down 5% from 2018. Looking ahead to next season, Olson says growers can mitigate their disease risk by selecting varieties with different maturities and suggests looking at new higher-yielding varieties in the pipeline.
Current market conditions for wheat, along with the price and short availability of hay in some locations, are setting up a scenario where the growing winter wheat crop may have more value for grazing or as a hay crop this spring than to harvest it for grain. After the stress of this winter, cow-calf pairs also may benefit from this high-quality grazing opportunity, especially if cow body condition needs to be improved before breeding. If mature, dry beef cows are to be fed, harvest can be delayed a little longer to increase yield, but nutritive value and palatability will be sacrificed.
Seven tips for successful winter wheat production from Joel Ransom, North Dakota State University Extension agronomist, and Ruth Beck, South Dakota State University Extension agronomist, are: 1. The higher seeding rate may be appropriate if planting late or when planting into poor seedbeds. Since winter wheat tends to tiller more profusely than spring wheat, 1.2 million seeds per acre is the upper end of the recommended seeding rate. South Dakota farmers who are aiming for higher yields typically use higher seeding rates and withhold nitrogen from the wheat until tillering is almost finished.
While it may not be happening yet in 2019, tile drainage lines moving water out of fields will eventually stop flowing, and when they do, river nitrate levels will decrease to less than 1 part per million, says Lowell Gentry, a University of Illinois scientist working for the Nutrient Reduction and Education Council. [...]it would only be 4 ppm for nitrate; based on an annual flow-weighted mean nitrate concentration for streams and rivers, that’s what they’re thinking would protect local water quality,” Gentry says, adding the agency is reviewing public comments on the proposed policy. “The double-crop soybean after wheat led to a slight increase in tile nitrate concentration, but when we repeated again with corn, we’re down to 4.7 ppm in year 4 of the study.
Blame the saturated soils for allowing diseases and molds to affect stands, he says, especially in low-lying areas. Most of the state’s apples and peaches are blooming, and farmers are even starting to plant some corn. Debra Crisman, a crops reporter in Warren County, N.J., says farmers have started spreading fertilizer and tilling ground as planting season approaches.