Pennsylvania Wheat: Monitor Crop Maturity and Disease Potential
There are a couple of issues in this year’s wheat crop that suggest a need for a bit of management prior to harvest.
The first is the delayed maturity of the crop.
It looks like harvest might be 5-7 days later than usual. This will impact double crop soybean planting dates. Whatever we can do to speed up harvest would add to soybean double crop yield potential. The practice of harvesting wheat early and drying is a good way to get the crop out of the field early and ensure a higher quality grain.
A recent blog post from the University of Kentucky discussed some of the management details related to this practice.
A second issue this year is the spotty scab levels in our fields and its effect on wheat vomitoxin levels and price.
This year, unlike some previous years, the feed wheat price is likely to be depressed relative to flour grade wheat, so it might pay dividends to assess scab levels and make plans prior to harvest regarding the use and disposition of various fields. Scab symptoms are most visible during the late grain fill stages and then tend to disappear, or become harder to see prior to harvest.
I recently attended a Farm Credit Director Development program in Charleston, South Carolina, where Dave Kohl presented an agricultural economic update. I thought his presentation was exceptional. He described agricultural