Winter wheat update – May 28, 2013

Wheat’s performance is receiving modest scores from Michigan Wheat Watchers, particularly in central Michigan regions where heavy rains have repeatedly injured the crop.

The Michigan Wheat Watchers report, submitted May 27, is summarized in the table below. Wheat in the southern tier of counties has fared quite well to date and grain heads are beginning to emerge. However, wheat in the central two-thirds of the state is exhibiting injury from excessive rainfall events since March. Reports speak of significant variability in nitrogen availability and uptake; above normal incidence of nutrient deficiencies and a wide range in plant developmental stages within and between fields.

Insect and disease pests continue to be at low levels. Armyworm moth catches are well below that of last year. Wheat diseases have been, for the most part, very low. However, growers are bracing for some disease challenges that may be encouraged by forecasted wet conditions. Of particular concern is the possibility of damp conditions during the period wheat plants are heading and flowering as this is the time the crop is particularly prone to infections that cause Fusarium head scab. According to Michigan State University Extension, the variability in maturity of the tillers within a field will lend further risk to scab infections as flowering tends to be prolonged.

Michigan wheat watchers report for May 27, 2013

County

Watcher

Growth stage

Army worms (week ending 5/20)

Army worms (week ending 5/27)

Army worm (total to-date)

Comments

Allegan

Tom Smith, Moline Co-op

10

0

0

0

Crop condition looks like 75% excellent, 25% good. Still some yellowing spots and I think that was from early wet weather.

Bay

Chris Schmidt, Schmidt Farms of Auburn

10-10.1

0

2

2

Earliest planted fields are at 10.1 and later fields have heads either showing or just emerging. Second application of spring nitrogen (applied with Headline + Huskie) has resulted in significant improvements in wheat fields.

Cass

Carl Sparks, Sparks Cedarlee Farms

10

?

2

?

Some aphids, some Septoria disease; overall crop looks good.

Clinton

Gerard Reaume, Agri Bus consultants

8-10

1

5

6

Wheat is 25% fair, 75% good.

Gratiot (Southern)

Phil Tuggle, MI Ag Comm.

0

0

16

16

As wheat matures, the rough winter still shows with uneven heading; looks like split and late nitrogen application is paying dividends.

Huron

Tim Wilke, Co-op Elevator Co.

8-10

0

0

4

Fields highly variable in growth stage and coloring.

Isabella

Paul Gross, MSU Extension

9-10

0

0

0

Flag leaf is fully emerged and approaching boot. Light disease pressure.

Jackson

George Wilcox, Crop Prod Services

10–10.4

0

3

6

The dry weather has been a most significant problem. Before rain on May 23, wheat on lighter ground was stressed; plants are short. Seeing some powdery mildew on flag. Not confident we had enough rain to support good yields.

Lenawee

Scott Wahl

10.1

3

4

7

Overall wheat condition is good to great, growth stages are progressing faster than normal. Aphid pressure is decreasing and disease pressure is very low and being suppressed.

Monroe

Ned Birkey, Spartan Ag Consulting

9-10

0

3

3

With some rain forecast, farmers need to scout the flag and the flag minus one leaf for leaf diseases. Most fields will likely head out and flower next week. The next seven to 10 days will be important for making fungicide applications.

Newaygo

Mitchell Murray, MI Ag Commodities

10

0

3

3

Some fields are showing signs of leaf spot. We received 3-5 inches of rain last week; fields are starting to pond in the low spots. No insect pressure showing.

Saginaw

Bill Guilford, Guilford-Beagle Farm

9-10

1

5

11

Couple of heads even spotted.

Sanilac

Martin Nagelkirk, MSU Extension

8-10

6

12

18

Growth a few days behind; fields showing varying levels of color and maturity. N and micro-deficiencies suspected in some fields. Some Septoria leaf spot, but low disease levels overall.

Sanilac

Reggie VanSickle, W. Marion Farm

7

0

4

4

Color much improved after second topdress.

St. Clair

Mark Naplin, Eastern Michigan

10

0

0

0

Wheat looks very short this year, fields that had nitrogen split applied look much better than fields that had one shot of N. Found a few aphids in a few fields. Crop is 80% good to excellent; later planted fields on heavier ground not catching up.

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