Early Wheat Numbers in the Carolinas Look Good

Rain has slowed down the wheat harvest considerably, and meanwhile turning corn yellow. NC State Extension grain specialist Dr. Ron Heiniger says the crop potential is there:

“We do have a great crop of corn so far, and certainly a good wheat crop coming out, so trying our nerves because we’ve got to keep at it because we’ve good potential here.”

As far as early wheat numbers, Heiniger says they look good overall:

“Well, they’re actually looking really good, it’s like I predicted in early March, that we were going to see in this wheat crop; we’ve got wheat that’s unbelievable in the yields that they’re getting and some that’s looking really poor. And it makes sense, for those growers that were able to do a timely fungicide, got nitrogen on before it jointed off, that wheat held those heads, and we’ve had a long grain fill period, test weights are extremely high on this wheat that’s been harvested. If we can get her out of the field, there’s some wheat that will blow your socks right off, and of course some fields that are real dogs, not much in between, it’s either really good wheat or a few fields that aren’t doing very well because of disease or didn’t get enough nitrogen at the right time, there’s various reasons.

The early numbers look even better than last year for a lot of this wheat, if we could just get it out. That’s our problem right now, is doggone wheat doesn’t stay in the field and survive a lot of rain very well.”

While recovering from rain on mature wheat is possible, recovering from even a light hailstorm is not, according to Heiniger:

“Coming from Kansas, I know that fear really well, because that’s one thing that will strike fear into you is to see some hail on a standing wheat crop that’s ready for harvest. It’ll take it to nothing in a hurry, because it doesn’t stand hail even a light hail will send wheat falling over and shattering. It’s the fear of all wheat farmers is getting hail on that crop.”

We’ll hear more from NC State Extension’s Dr. Ron Heiniger concerning early disease issues in corn tomorrow on Inside Agriculture.

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