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Plans Being Made for 2013 Carolina Wheat Crop

NC State Extension Small Grain Specialist Dr. Randy Weisz and his colleagues have released the 2012 Wheat Variety Performance & Recommendations paper, and Weisz says it’s the most up-to-date information on winter wheat production available:

“There are a lot more varieties in this report that we’ve had in the past. It includes a much broader brush stroke of options for growers. Also, for the first time we have test weight information. So this is not only a report on yield performance, but it also gives test weight performance.

Lots of the pest resistance information in this report is updated. So it makes this a very broad report, it covers a lot of varieties and the information is the latest that is out there on how these varieties are performing.”

The past two years have seen a late infestation of leaf rust on wheat. Weisz says that they’ve chosen varieties that are not only resistant to rust…:

“One very interesting thing this year is that we had a number of variety tests out there that were both unsprayed with the fungicide, the usual way that we test varieties, but we also had some tests out there that we sprayed with fungicides. Over the past two years in doing this, even when growers know that they are going to manage their wheat with a fungicide application, many of the best yielding varieties that got that application were varieties that had resistance to leaf rust.”

With wheat futures now over $8.00…again, does Weisz see more acres in North Carolina this year:

“I think there will be more acres, but we have limited acres to grow so things wont double, but there will be more. In the last 72 hours I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls asking when these recommendations were coming out because folks were needing to make seed orders. We know there will be limited availability of the most popular varieties, so its really time for growers to make their selections and get their orders in.”

Speaking of orders for seed, Weisz reinforces the thought of not waiting:

“If growers want to get the best variety, they need to be making their orders pretty soon.”

With the 2011/12 wheat harvest complete, production numbers are being tabulated and Weisz says that given this year’s challenges, the yield numbers are good:

“My impression is that yields were good, but not as high as last year, but still higher than normal and most growers were very excited about the yields they were seeing. The director of the Small Grains Association is anticipating the average wheat yield to be as high as 65 bushels across the state.”

Which Weisz says is a testament to the tenacity and skill of the growers in an extremely challenging weather year.

For a link to 2012 Wheat Variety Performance & Recommendations click here.or visit: 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.