Wheat farmers to get tractors going soon
Relatively few acres intended for wheat have been planted as most growers are likely to hold off a bit.
Jeff Naysmith, agronomist for Cooperative Grain and Supply, said some farmers were postponing drilling wheat because of armyworms.
Armyworm infestations have been heavy in some parts of Kansas, according to Kansas State University extension.
“There have been many reports across the Midwest of large fall armyworm populations damaging crops, lawns, and turf, so they are having a good year,” extension entomologist J. P. Michaud said.
Still, Naysmith expects Marion County wheat growers to start planting soon.
“Probably next week, when things dry out,” Naysmith said. “They’re going to hit it hard.”
Some growers already have planted, but only a small number of acres.
“Like I say, once we get past this rainfall event, I think it will dry out, and things will happen pretty fast after this,” Naysmith said.
Those delaying because of the threat of armyworm damage shouldn’t have to wait much longer.
Once armyworms have pupated into moths, they no longer feed on plants.
“It’s in the worm stage they eat on the plants,” Naysmith said. “They should be in the process of becoming moths. I would anticipate before too long it gets better.”
Naysmith said planting typically started the first week of October.
Farmers mostly plant Monument, Zenda, and 4699 wheat.
He said most wheat growers would use no-till planting in fields that grew soybeans or corn.
Farmers are dealing with the same economic adversity as the rest of the economy.
“The inputs are quite expensive this year compared to years past,” he said. “There have been transportation problems, supply issues. It’s been kind of the perfect storm.”
Preplant fertilizer used by many growers has not been easy to get, he said.
“We’ve had adequate but not abundant supply,” Naysmith said.
Last modified Oct. 6, 2021