2017 Wheat Quality Tour


(Dr. Romulo Lollato) Good morning folks, my name is Romulo Lollato. I’m the Extension Wheat and Forages Specialist with Kansas State University. Today we’re here in Manhattan to give you an update in a wrap-up on the Wheat Quality Tour. That event had over 70 people going out in Kansas wheat fields, sampling, trying to get a- yield estimate of what the crop is going to look like here in a month. Let’s give you a wrap-up from the first day of the tour. What did we see? In that first day of the tour, we leave Manhattan and we reach Colby. Our goal is to have an assessment of that entire northern part of, northern tiers of counties of Kansas as well as the southern tier of counties in Nebraska. As we left Manhattan, we were reaching quite a few fields with freeze damage from that freeze from April 27th. If you remember, temperatures on April 27th during the morning were below freezing for as much as seven hours around Republic County. We’re seeing that some fields that were further along in that region were actually being damaged by that freeze. If you’re a producer in that region, Republic County, Cloud County, Concordia or that north central, even reaching into eastern Mitchell County, I’ll definitely recommend you to be scouting for freeze damage before making any other management decision in your field as far as fungicide application or any other input. We started the trip seeing some freeze damage as we moved north and west. Moving west of Republic County, we encountered some fields with better yield potential. Around Mitchell, Osborne counties and even in Rooks County our yield potential increased. We had several fields of 60 maybe 70 bushels per acre potential. The caveat is that those fields were neighboring fields that had maybe a yield potential, much lower because of scattered emergence back last fall; very poor emergence in many of those fields. It was a contrasting situation where very good fields infused with much lower yield potential. One additional factor that was decreasing yield potential especially as we moved west was wheat streak mosaic. Seems like this year we, in virtually every single field that we stopped west of pretty much all of Osborne County or west, we were encountering some level of wheat streak mosaic. Some of the fields more severe, some of the fields less, but in every single field we were seeing some level of wheat streak mosaic. As we moved west, to west of Graham County, we got in the region where we’re seeing snow. If you remember back on April 29th through May 1st, during that weekend, the western third of Kansas got anywhere from three, four inches of snow up to 21 inches of snow. What is that snow going to do to our crop? Well, two main effects there. One, physical damage from stem breaking, just that heavy snow physically, mechanically breaking those stems; and second several hours at freezing or below freezing temperatures. We can also see there’re combination of cold and mechanical damage. West of Graham County, we didn’t really sample many fields because we couldn’t have a good estimate of their yield potential. From here on we need to see what those fields are going to make. We can see a 50% yield loss or we can see it anywhere from 25 to 75% yield loss. It’s really going to depend on the conditions moving forward and how well that crop bounces back from all that snowfall.(Dr. Romulo Lollato) Good morning again, folks. I am Romulo Lollato, Extension Wheat and Forages Specialist with Kansas State University. Now, we’re going to talk about the second part of the Wheat Quality Tour. If you missed the first part, make sure that you watch it online, the first part of the trip that we just discussed. In the second part, we’re going to discuss the trip that we made leaving Colby, covering the entire southwest part of Kansas, and heading from the southwest covering the southern tiers of counties of Kansas into Wichita. What did we see in that second day? Early morning, again, we were in that western tier of the state where it was covered in snow. Very hard to get any type of yield estimates. We’re seeing quite a bit of broken stamps; we’re also seeing that, possibly, the heads that were held above the snow, they got wind damage just because we had 40, 50 miles per hour wind. To some extent, snow in that region may have acted as a buffer or as an insulating for those colder temperatures and high winds that we saw. Again, the crop was exposed for several hours of freezing temperatures even if it is covered by snow. The crop there in southwest was more advanced. It was closer to anthesis. I really advise producers in that region as well to be scouting for freeze damage before they take any management decision. Again, mechanical damage from broken stems as well as freeze damage. Another big concern that I had out in southwest Kansas, especially as we were heading south of Tribune, was the infection of wheat streak mosaic. The severity of infection in the fields as well as the incidence, fields that were just taken by the wheat streak mosaic in that far southwest Kansas. That reminds me to remind you to be a good neighbor and control your volunteer wheat during the summer so we don’t run into the situation of fields are seen maybe 70, 100% yield lost in that part of the state. As we moved towards eastern Kansas and the southern tiers of counties, we start to get more into fields that were showing quite a bit of nitrogen deficiency. The reason for that nitrogen deficiency are pretty much two. One, producers are probably not applying as much just because of the nitrogen price, right? Budgeting nitrogen is not really paying off much either. Second reason, we had quite a bit of rainfall as well. That rainfall may have leached some of that nitrogen through the roots. Even in fields that producers applied nitrogen, we’re still seeing a lot of nitrogen deficiency. That is going to hurt our yields as well because where the crop is really expressing its potential, well, maybe we could see 70 bushes of wheat. But really when you average the field out, it might be only 35 or 40 just because of nitrogen deficiency. Another concern that we were seeing was waterlogged, especially in south central Kansas. A lot of fields showing waterlog, which producers can’t really do much about and that comes back to the amount of rainfall that we have been having. In the wrap-up of the tour, the final calculated number was 282 million bushels being produced out of the 2017 Kansas with crop. Folks, I want to make sure here that a lot of that final number is going to depend on the fate of that crop out in western Kansas. The crop is able to bounce back even though despite the stem bendings that we saw and also the freeze damage. Maybe they’re too late you might realize, but really we have too many things playing this year. At this point, it’s really early for us to give any final estimate of wheat production in Kansas.

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