Next Few Weeks Crucial For 2014 Wheat Crop, Edwards SaysWed, 19 Feb 2014 16:48:05 CST
For the most part, Oklahoma's 2014 wheat crop got in an up in good shape. Fall rains and a few snow events during the winter have brought it this far, but where does it go from here? Oklahoma State University Small Grains Extension Specialist Dr. Jeff Edwards says the next several weeks are crucial if farmers hope to harvest a bumper crop.
"We're coming out of dormancy right now in the Southern Plains and this is a time of year when moisture is critical. We can get by on very little moisture during the winter months, but when we come out of dormancy and we're starting reproductive growth, we have to have that moisture available. Temperatures are warming, evapotranspiration increases and it's a critical time.
"Also, we're starting to form that grain head deep in the plant and we need moisture to ensure that we don't start aborting grain sites on that grain head when the plant is this small, so it's very critical that we have moisture right now.
"Unfortunately, we don't have that much moisture in the Southern Plains. We've kind of gotten us enough moisture to get us by and in some locations we have some moisture deep in the soil, but in the top six to eight inches of soil it's still fairly dry in central Oklahoma. In western Oklahoma it's still extremely dry and we really have no reserve moisture in the soil. So, we're going to need some rains here in early March and we're going to need them to come pretty regularly."
You can hear Jeff Edwards's comments by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
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