Future of wheat crop 'variable'
Recent rains have had a mixed effect on the county wheat crop, according to Jeff Naysmith, agronomist with Cooperative Grain and Supply in Hillsboro.
Standing water will damage fields that don’t drain well.
“It’s going to kill plants out,” Naysmith said.
Some fields in flood-prone areas will have wheat under water too long, he said.
Crops on higher ground with good drainage will fare better.
This year’s growing season saw dry conditions in April. That caused heads to be smaller than usual.
On the other hand, rain that fell two weeks ago was good for the crop because the grain will fill well.
“Even though the heads may not be large, with good grain filling, you can make up some of that,” he said. “The soil moisture is really good. That rain we had, that four or five inches, came really slow. A lot of that really soaked in, and that’s a good thing. It’s not often that we get rain like that.”
Naysmith said wheat would benefit from less rain than the county has been getting in recent days.
“It can be too muddy to get into the fields,” he said.
Naysmith predicts 2022 will not be a tremendous wheat year, but will be a good wheat year in the overall.
Hail storms have damaged some fields, but Naysmith said he didn’t know the extent of hail damage.
“I guess the key words for the region are ‘quite variable,’” he said. “There is some zero wheat and there is good wheat, too.”
Michael Dietz, agronomist for Agri Trails Co-op, takes a similar view.
“The wheat varies quite a bit,” he said. “Being dry hurt us quite a bit.”
Harvest usually begins around June 15 and, in a good year, takes 7 to 10 days to complete.
“We’re kind of stuck in a wet pattern right now,” Naysmith said.
Dietz said earlier dry conditions caused plants to be shorter and thinner, but he predicts some fields will produce 50 bushels and acre.
Dietz also said wheat streak had zeroed out some area fields, though other fields were not hit as hard.
“This late moisture is not going to make any difference on yield size but it might make a little difference on quality,” Dietz said.
Dietz noted wheat prices had increased but now have gone down. Record fuel prices continue to soar
Last modified June 9, 2022