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Cooler Weather Slowing Wheat Development

Yesterday we heard from NC State Extension corn specialist Dr. Ron Heiniger about corn planters sitting idle waiting on the weather to warm up, and that includes soil temperatures. They are still less than ideal across most of the state for planting:

“Temperatures are running in the low 50s at best and the moisture is making it hard to get it to warm up. You can even see it on this wheat crop, it is blowing this wheat down here.”

Speaking of wheat, Heiniger says that lower-than-average temps and continued precipitation are slowing the crop down, the exact opposite problem than the 2012 crop:

“It’s a little surprising, a lot of this wheat still hasn’t jointed off, we are getting into late March and still not a lot of wheat jointed. Its certainly has slowed the wheat down. Some growers have gotten nitrogen on but others are still trying to squeeze it in there.”

But, the slower growing wheat due to cooler temperatures has a silver lining says Heiniger:

“Usually the longer the wheat grows the better off you are, so if anything maybe it will help escape a late freeze on the wheat.”

NWS Meteorologist have explained that the current weather pattern is due to a trough firmly entrenched over the east coast, and the forecast remains the same for the foreseeable future…cooler than normal daytime highs.

NC State Extension Corn Specialist Dr. Ron Heiniger. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.