The 2017 Arkansas wheat crop was small in acreage but many producers reported exceptional yields with intensive management. Acreage was at or near record lows with approximately 195,000 acres planted in the fall of 2016.
Acreage was down for several reasons, but low grain prices at or below levels needed to breakeven was the main contributing factor for low acres. An exceptionally dry September-November also likely reduced plantings in some areas of the state.
With favorable growing conditions during the winter and spring (excluding a week of flooding in late April), highly managed wheat yields were yielding 80-100 bu/acre or more in several areas of the state. The statewide average yield was only 55 bu/acre, highlighting the yield difference between highly management fields and lower input fields.
Timely inputs, overall good management practices, proper variety selection, timely harvest, and good weather contributed to high yields. Overall foliar disease pressure was low, but leaf rust was the most pre-dominate foliar disease present late in the season and likely reduced yields and test weight on varieties that were susceptible and not treated with a foliar fungicide at heading.
Read the entire article and view tables, photos and charts here: Arkansas Wheat Newsletter September 13 2017