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Wheat Crop Holding Its Own, So Far

May 10, 2002
While the winter and spring have been relatively kind to the wheat crop, the wet weather in recent weeks has not been helpful. We have not seen extensive disease problems yet, but rainfall during flowering (shortly after head emergence) provides ideal conditions for Fusarium head blight (scab) to develop. Leaf disease may not be far behind. The pace of heading this year is about average, with heading moving up the state toward I-70 now. Color of the crop is not too bad so far, with help from spring N applications and cooler temperatures. How well the crop maintains this color will signal how well it's maintaining yield potential. The ideal weather for this stage of wheat--sunshine, little rainfall, and highs in the 70s--has not been very common during recent weeks. Head numbers appear to be adequate in most fields, but diseases that develop now can decrease the rate and extent of kernel filling over the next month. As a rule of thumb, it is usually about 6 weeks from heading to maturity. This will depend some on temperatures and on how much disease develops, but it's not a bad guide to expected harvest date for the crop.--Emerson Nafziger

Author: Emerson Nafziger

The Pest Management and Crop Development Bulletin
Executive Editor: Kevin Steffey, Extension Entomologist

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