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NC Winter Wheat Acre Estimates up to 1-million Acres

More winter wheat went in the ground this growing season than most living can remember, driven by high prices. Dan Weathington, CEO of the NC Small Grain Growers Association explains that the current condition is all over the map:

“There is some wheat that is probably normal sized for the time of the year, there is a good bit of wheat that is just out of the ground, some that need a shot of nitrogen on it. I would encourage farmers to check those fields and get out and see what they actually look like close up.”

Acreage estimates are also open to interpretation says Weathington, but the general consensus is more than 900,000 in North Carolina:

“I think we have around 950,000 acres planted in the state. I have lots of people think it’s over a million. Traveling through the state I’ve seen more wheat fields than I have in years.”

But, right now, Weathington suggests checking tillers and consulting with experts to determine the next step to maximize yields:

“I would concentrate on looking at the tillers now and see if you need to put some more nitrogen out. Its another one of the years that we have to manage.”

As far as tall, wooly wheat like we had in 2012, Weathington says that’s not where we are now:

“The normal is to start and try to get finished planting your wheat by thanksgiving and all the soybeans cut by then as well. But some people started the right time in the latter days of October, depending on where they are, but some wet areas got delayed. Wheat has been planted up to the week of Christmas this year. I think at this point we have an average wheat crop, we can tell a bit more in 2-3 weeks depending on the weather. Last year it was warm and the wheat got growing too fast and there was a lot that had to be mowed because it was too tall.”

Dan Weathington, CEO of the North Carolina Small Grain Growers Association. 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.