Wheat harvest this year has been painfully slow, but NC State Extension Small Grain Specialist Dr. Randy Weisz was able to harvest test plots in a timely manner and has recently released those results:
“We did pretty well, actually. Most of the ones I’m using in the reports were harvested pretty timely. Couple of tests were harvested a little bit later than we normally would, but they got in at a reasonable time. I guess one of the advantages that we have, since we’re not harvesting the grain, we can go ahead and harvest if the moisture is a little bit higher than growers would be harvesting, so that we can go ahead and get the test in and get the information without losing a tremendous amount due to lodging, or shattering or sprouting.”
As far as the quality of the test plots this year, Weisz says he’s pleased:
“I think these are pretty good tests. I think we did really well this year with the official variety testing program. We had four really good, quality locations, and I think really good results.”
Weisz says some varieties were standouts in this year’s trials:
“There are quite a few that have two-year average yields that were above the average of all the varieties. Some new ones, and some old, standard work horses. And there’s plenty from all the major, standard companies.”
And while winter wheat hasn’t been in the bin all that long, and in some cases may not be in the bin, Weisz says now is the time to look over the trial results and get this year’s seed booked:
“No, and in fact, I’ve already heard from one of the major seed farms, some of the varieties, particularly a variety that did well this year, held its test weight through a lot of the rain and so forth, has already sold out. This is really the time, by the time we get around to the end of July, some of the really sharp wheat producers are already ordering their seed.”
And when making those variety selections for winter wheat, Weisz has this advice:
“We have problems frequently, maybe not wide-spread, but every year there are growers who have problems with head scab. And this year, there certainly were quite a number of growers who had head scab and high DON levels. And we’re trying to encourage growers from around the state to think about selecting varieties that are not only high yielding, but have moderate resistance to head scab.”
To see the NC State winter wheat variety trial results, visit Weisz’ website, smallgrains dot ncsu dot edu after about noon today or from your county extension agent.
NC State Extension Small Grain Specialist Dr. Randy Weisz.