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North Carolina Small Grains Series



North Carolina Small Grain Growers will be hosting three Small Grains Days in the coming week. Each location provides an opportunity for farmers and persons with interest in small grain research to see new variety development, disease/insect control, latest fungicide recommendations, fertilizer use and latest agronomy work for farmers to maximum yields for higher net returns on money invested.

May 8, 2012, Wilton Shooter and Sons Farm, Rowland, NC

May 10, 2012,  Beaufort County Field Day, Granny Branch Farms (Sid Cayton),Aurora, NC

May 15, 2012, Piedmont Research Station, Salisbury, NC

For directions to each location check our Calendar page.


Images from May 15th, Piedmont Research Station, Salisbury, NC

Two of the three scheduled small grain field days are behind us this year, but this afternoon will be the third at the Piedmont Research & Extension Station near Salisbury. Dan Weathington, Executive Director of the NC Small Grains Association recaps the first field day near Rowland:

“The field days so far have been very successful. We started out last Tuesday in Rowland. We had updates on fertilizer recommendations, early or late time to plant timelines, seeding rates, fungicide and insecticide tests, row spacing and nitrogen timing. We had about 120 people attend the event.”

While many of the same plot trials were showcased Thursday in Beaufort County near Aurora, Weathington says the field day in the coastal Plain offered a couple of other features:

“On the tenth we moved down to Beaufort County where we had the same tests mentioned above, but there you have different situations since you are in the black lands. In both locations we had the opportunity to view some rust that invaded the plots. We have seen some striped rust this year, normally its just common rust. We were also able to see some Haitian fly damage as well.”

Weathington says that the demonstrations have offered good information for growers:

“It’s been a good show and tell to see these plots. These farmers have the opportunity to demonstrate what’s happening, what we need to look for at what time of the year and then any damage that might happen to the crop.”

The third and final field day is this afternoon is near Salisbury at the Piedmont Research and Extension Station. Weathington explains some of the trials in this field day:

“We will have updates with different planting dates, early or late, when to check tillers and when to apply nitrogen, among other things. We also have some barley tests going on up there so those interested in that crop should attend.”

And this afternoon’s event is rain-or-shine according to Weathington:

“If it does rain we have a big shelter there, and we will still have a program and get out to see the plots if at all possible between the showers. But we will definitely have the program and a lot of great information to share.”

The field day is at the gets underway at 4:00 pm with tours starting at 4:30 and a meal served at 6:30 pm.


Photos from May 8, 2012, Wilton Shooter and Sons Farm, Rowland, NC

Paul Murphy provides the Rowland County Small Grain Day participants with some valuable information//Photo of the Shooter Farm Plot

Participants in the Rowland County Small Grains day listen to Barney Berstein, a consultant with Murphy Brown//Randy Weisz speaks to the attendees at the Rowland County Small Grain Day on May 8th


The second of three small grain field days is scheduled for Thursday May 10th  in Beaufort County. Jacob Searcy, with Beaufort County Cooperative Extension explains what’s planned for the event:

“It will be May 10th starting with registration at four pm. At 4:30 we will start the event by going thru a wheat field and talking about the different varieties and diseases. We will also some types of weed control and fertilizers. Finally we will compare conventionally managed plots and intensive managed plots.”

Searcy says that a number of varieties are involved in this year’s trials: “Right now we have about forty different varieties along with test plots from NC State.”

The field trials have been specially designed for Coastal Plain Conditions, says Searcy: “Different soils, different temperatures, different disease pressures, the things that farmers will be most interested in. Also we will look at maturity date.”

Like the field day on Tuesday, this one is also on a private farm, near Aurora: “The event will take place on Sid Cayton’s farm outside of Aurora on highway 33. We will have field day signs along the highway to mark the location.”

And finally: “We look forward to having farmers come out, it will definitely be worth their while. We also want to thank the previous county director who retired, Galen Ambrose for all of the hard work he did to get the plot set up.”

A meal will be served at 6:30, that Searcy promises will be worth the effort. For more information or directions, visit our Calendar HERE


On Tuesday, May the 8th, the first of three small grain field days is scheduled in Robeson County, near Rowland. Georgia Love, Extension Associate with NC State University Small Grains Department outlines some of the features of the tour:

“We plan to show several of our tests involving on farm field work this year related to small grains. We are looking at different varieties, the effects of fungicide on those varieties, several different insecticidal seed treatments, and nitrogen timing. We are also looking at what we call the east coast treatments.”

The test plots are on the Wilton Shooter and Sons Farm, and registration gets underway at 4:00 pm:

“At about 4:30 we will start the field tours. We will go through and look at the aforementioned tests until about 6:30. We will end the day with a meal.”


The North Carolina Small Grain Growers Association along with NC State Extension is hosting three small grain field days the second and third week of May. Dan Weathington, Executive Director NC Small Grain Growers Association says that each field day location will have some commonalities and differences:

“There will be several things that will be covered at each one of the locations, but for instance in Salisbury we have some unique soil types, some tillage tests, insect and disease control, among other things.”

Each field day location; Rowland, Beaufort County and Salisbury will offer information unique to that particular area according to Weathington:

“We encourage everyone to attend these events to take advantage of the valuable information. You’ll see things that are timely to increase wheat production and yields in North Carolina.”

With the crop running so early this year, Weathington says it’s not impossible that some wheat may be ready to harvest before the final field day on the 15th of May:

“The wheat crop is about three weeks ahead so we might not have any harvested before the 15th, but likely around the 25th if we continue to have these warm temperatures and hopefully some more rain to help mature these grains.”

Weathington says that double-crop producers should see benefits with wheat running ahead of schedule:

As far as recent freezing, and near freezing temperatures, Weathington says that it appears that wheat dodged a bullet in most areas.

Dr. Randy Weisz has sent out both scab and rust alerts in recent days, and Weathington says that while it’s too early to determine if a field was hit with scab, it’s his opinion that the rust situation is very isolated:

“We are always eager to get the soybeans in, so getting the wheat out a week or ten days ahead will help to put those in the ground earlier. We hope to have some additional rain to help out the situation.”
Executive Director of the NC Small Grain Growers Association, Dan Weathington. 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.