All totaled, our area wheat could be much worse off considering the environment and drought we have been forced to grow it in. I see no major pest issues in the Hale & Swisher fields I have been able to check these past few weeks. The largest concern has been potential damage from the April freeze event and detection of wheat virus in fields producers are pushing for grain yields.
In our most recent newsletter, I estimated that the majority of wheat fields I had checked had only about 5% damage in the lower portions of the fields. Now that the heads are emerging, this estimate looks fairly accurate. There are a few unfortunate exceptions with much more damage.
One lusher than average field in south-central Swisher County had 70 – 80% damaged primary heads in the low laying areas of the field and 30 – 40% in the higher elevated areas. There are secondary heads available to this field and should help mitigate some of the yield loss associated with this freeze damage loss.