Tuesday was the final field day for small grains for the 2011-12 growing season at the Piedmont Research and Extension Station near Salisbury. Dr. Randy Weisz and his team had to make a few adjustments to the agenda…more than two inches of rain made the fields too muddy to tour the station’s research plots.
Just a few months ago, we were hearing about tall wooly wheat, which Weisz recommended mowing wheat, and many producers took his advice:
“The county agents are mostly telling me from the coastal plain is that growers who had really big wheat and they mowed it, most are happy with it. It definitely wasn’t a silver bullet. Some of them lost the wheat in their wheel tracks, but it certainly did hold the wheat back and help to prevent it from lodging. So it was probably better than not doing anything at all.”
“Despite the rain here today, we had a record turnout. We haven’t had a field day with this many plots, there are about 1500 plots that we will be harvesting. The data will be available for the growers. If they want to get that information, it will be ready in July, they can email me (Randy Weisz) and I will provide it to them.”
“I have had very few concerns from the growers here today. Most of the concerns have been coming from the southern Piedmont. There have been a lot of concerns about this big wheat and about mowing. There were a lot of questions, particularly from the Union County area, about disease control. We had a tremendous amount of disease come in late this year, mostly rust. Growers out here aren’t generally used to dealing with diseases, so we got a lot of calls about what to do when they showed up at the end of April and early May.”
“In the coastal plains, the mowing definitely held the wheat back. That was important. For the most part it kept the crop from falling down. I don’t think they would have the crop they have today if they hadn’t mowed it. It very likely would have lodged and they would have lost it. Rust was also a serious problem out there, it didn’t matter if you mowed it or not. In many parts of the coastal plain any variety with any degree of resistance got rust and fungicides were required.”
We’ll hear more from Dr. Randy Weisz from the Piedmont Small Grain Field Day tomorrow on Today’s Topic.