Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Kansas: Warm Winters May Affect Crop Management Decisions

AgFax.Com - Your Online Ag News Source


The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently revised its Plant Hardiness Zone Map northward, meaning that the extreme low temperatures during the winter in Kansas and most of the rest of the country aren’t quite as cold now as they were about 20 to 30 years ago, said Mary Knapp, K-State Research and Extension climatologist.

“There is a lot of variability, of course, from year to year. But the USDA has determined that there is enough evidence of a trend for warmer winters that it made this change in the Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Certainly that was the case during the early part of the winter this year, with Kansas recording one of the warmest Januarys on record,” Knapp said.

Agricultural producers in the state may see some benefits from this trend of less extreme cold in the winter, but it may also result in the need for a few management changes in their cropping practices, according to K-State Research and Extension scientists.

Here are a few of the potential factors they say to consider:

* Insect overwintering survival. During winters with extreme lows that are not as cold, it is possible that some wheat pests may survive the winter a bit more easily, and become a problem earlier and in a larger scale than in more “average” winters, said Jeff Whitworth, K-State Research and Extension entomologist.

“Of particular concern would be greenbugs and bird cherry oat aphids. Although these insects probably do not overwinter in Kansas, they may do so during warmer winters. If they overwinter in Kansas, they would be available to start feeding and reproducing earlier, as soon as the wheat breaks dormancy,” he said.

Also, flea beetles, army cutworms and winter grain mites may be more of a problem earlier in the year if their populations are not limited by the “normal” extreme lows in the winter we had in the past, Whitworth added. Dry conditions also add to the stress these pests have on the wheat and make it just that much more critical to start scouting wheat fields as soon as the first new growth is evident, the K-State entomologist said.

* Plant disease overwintering survival. Leaf rust can at times get started on wheat in the fall in Kansas. These fall infections do not usually cause a significant problem because the leaf rust fungus does do not normally survive the winter in Kansas, said Erick DeWolf, K-State Research and Extension plant pathologist.

“But if the extreme lows during the winter are not as cold now as in the past, which is what the recent change in plant hardiness zones implies, then leaf rust may successfully overwinter on wheat more often,” DeWolf said.

As a result, it would be a good idea for wheat farmers and consultants in Kansas to inspect their wheat fields more closely and frequently in late winter and early spring for signs of leaf rust, as well as other early-season diseases such as powdery mildew, tan spot, and septoria leaf blotch, DeWolf explained.

Another disease that may increase in frequency is barley yellow dwarf virus on wheat, DeWolf added. This disease is spread by greenbugs and oat bird cherry aphids, and these insects could become more of a problem in Kansas if wintertime lows are not as cold. Wheat producers may want to put more emphasis on selecting varieties with better resistance to barley yellow dwarf, and plant later to help avoid fall infestations of the aphids, DeWolf said.

* Crop variety selection. New varieties of crops that overwinter in Kansas, such as wheat, alfalfa and canola, will have been developed under environmental conditions that existed over the past 10 years, and should be well adapted to the new hardiness zone conditions, said Jim Shroyer, K-State Research and Extension crop production specialist.

However, producers may want to consider taking a few extra steps to protect their wheat against the insects and diseases mentioned above, including selecting varieties with better resistance, if possible, Shroyer added.


Leave a Reply

Name and Email Address are required fields. Your email will not be published or shared with third parties.

Sunbelt Ag News

    Keith Good: Federal Reserve Beige Book Released – Ag Economy Observations3-4

    DTN Livestock Close: Large Sell-Off3-4

    Grain TV: Soybeans Hit by Double Whammy3-4

    Doane Cotton Close: Acreage May Not Drop, Market Turns Negative3-4

    Kansas: Sumner County a Primary Natural Disaster Area3-4

    Arizona: 4 Counties Declared Natural Disaster Areas3-4

    Oil Exports Reach Record High3-4

    New Mexico: 9 Counties Designated Natural Disaster Areas3-4

    California: Imperial County Designated a Natural Disaster Area3-4

    DTN Cotton Close: Record High Ending Stocks Outside China3-4

    Propane Stocks Decrease3-4

    Gas Prices Skyrocket3-4

    Diesel Prices on the Rise3-4

    DTN Grain Close: Focus Turns to South America3-4

    Georgia: Quick Fix, Patching up “Bot Cankers” on Pecan Trees3-4

    DTN Livestock Midday: Cash Premium and Short Covering Support3-4

    Markets: How Will Closing the Trading Pits Affect Performance?3-4

    Planting: Soybean, Corn Planter Choices. What’s Right for You? – DTN3-4

    DTN Grain Midday: Pressure from South America, China May be Out of U.S.3-4

    The “Battle” of Acres, Predicting Corn and Soybean Ratios – DTN3-4

    Nebraska: Value of Farmland Drops3-4

    DTN Cotton Open: Sales Dip, All Eyes on China3-4

    DTN Livestock Open: Bids Murky, High Trade Could be Delayed3-4

    DTN Grain Open: Warm Weather Expected in Winter Wheat Areas3-4

    Soybeans: How Low Can Planting Rates Safely Go? – DTN3-3

    Japan Reduces Hurdles to Pacific Trade Deal Progress – DTN3-3

    New Videos Shows Weeds Time-Lapsed Reaction to Herbicides3-3

    DTN Fertilizer Trends: Northern Farmers Glad for Lack of Delays3-3

    Pennsylvania: 4 Weed Resistance Workshops, March 17-203-3

    North Carolina: Farming on Leased Land Workshop, Mills River, April 93-3

    USDA: Weekly National Peanut Prices3-3

    Cotton: Topguard Gets Full Registration, Pay Attention to Use Rates3-3

    Crop Insurance: Soybean Projected Prices Down 10¢ from 20143-3

    Immigration Reform: House E-verify Not Enough, Says Ag Coalition3-3

    Fertilizer Management: Watch Out for Burns from In-Furrow Starters – DTN3-2

    Keith Good: Ethanol Profits; California Rains – Just Drop in the Drought Bucket3-2

    Herbicide-Resistance: 12 Steps to Keep Weeds Away3-2

    AFB Grain-Soybean Close: Negative News Day3-2

    AFB Cotton Close: Slightly Mixed3-2

    AFB Rice Close: Market Mostly Higher3-2

    Hogs: Price Collapse – ‘Buy the Rumor, and Sell the Fact.’ – Podcast3-2

    DTN Fertilizer Outlook: Harsh Winter to Keep Prices Flat3-2

    Corn Planting: New Technology Worth the Money – DTN3-2

    Grain Sorghum: Great Rotation Crop – Acres Growing in Mid-Atlantic Region3-2

    Arkansas: Tyson Gives $5M to Help Fund Center for Ag Sciences3-2

    Keith Good: Crop Insurance Guarantees to Fall; California Drought “Catastrophic”;3-2

    Rose on Cotton: Gin Show Visit – High Quality Cotton Still in Demand2-28

    Trade Promotion Authority: Vilsack Whips Up Support2-27

    Ethanol: Corn Growers Defend RFS – DTN2-27

    Planting: New Rigs at the Top of Their Game – DTN2-27

    Rice Market: Only Feeble Signs of Price Improvement2-27

    Wheat: Study Sheds Light on Stem Rust Disease in Africa and Asia2-27

    Nebraska: Can You Shoot an Uninvited Drone?2-27

    Turkey Hunting: Tips for the Spring Gobbler Season2-27

    Cotton Base Acres Count as Generic Base Under Farm Bill2-27

    Soybeans: Monsanto Plans In-Field Training for Roundup Ready2 Xtend2-27

    DTN Cotton Close: Texas Could See More Freezing Rain, Snow2-27

    Shurley on Cotton: Improvement Slows Down, but What Else Did We Expect?2-27

    Peanut Stocks and Processing: Utilization Up 7%2-27

    USDA: Peanut Price Highlights2-27

    Weekly Cotton Market Review – USDA2-27

    Keith Good: Chinese Corn Imports Not Likely to Recover; Food Stamp Debate Rages On2-27

    Georgia Celebrates National Peanut Month with PB&J Day, Donations2-27

    U.S. Grain Transportation: West Coast Ports Return to Normal2-27

    Pinnacle’s Sanders in 9 Southern States with Newest Acquisition2-27

    Sunbelt Ag Events

     

    About Us

    AgFax.Com covers agricultural trends and production topics, with an emphasis on news about cotton, rice, peanuts, corn, soybeans, wheat and tree crops, including almonds, pecans, walnuts and pistachios.

      

    This site also serves as the on-line presence of electronic crop and pest reports published by AgFax Media LLC (formerly Looking South Communications).

        

    Click here to subscribe to our free reports.

      

    We provide early warnings and confirmations about pests, diseases and other factors that influence yield. Our goal is to quickly provide farmers and crop advisors with information needed to make better and more profitable decisions.

         

    Our free weekly crop and pest advisories include:

    • AgFax Midsouth Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Missouri.

    • AgFax Southeast Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southwest Cotton (new for 2013!), covering cotton production and news in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico.

    • AgFax West (formerly MiteFax: SJV Cotton), covering California cotton, alfalfa, tomatoes and other non-permanent crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgFax Rice covering rice production and news in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

    • AgFax Peanuts, covering peanut production in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southern Grain: covering soybeans, corn, milo and small grains in Southern states.

    • AgFax Almonds, covering almonds, pistachios, walnuts and other tree crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgCom 101, providing guidance to ag professionals involved in social media.

    Our newsletters are sponsored by the following companies: FMC Corporation Chemtura Dow AgroSciences.

          

    Mission statement:

    Make it as easy as possible for our community of readers to find and/or receive needed information.

              

    Contact Information:

    AgFax Media. LLC

    142 Westlake Drive Brandon, MS 39047

    601-992-9488 Office 601-992-3503 Fax

    Owen Taylor Debra L. Ferguson Laurie Courtney

          

    Circulation Questions?

    Contact Laurie Courtney +