Mother Nature Making Up for Lost Ground, Edwards saysWed, 28 May 2014 18:15:52 CDT
Rainfall is welcomed anytime in Oklahoma. The recent Memorial Day weekend brought heavy rains across the state, especially in the southern part of the state. Oklahoma State University Extension Wheat Specialist Dr. Jeff Edwards says unfortunately timing wasn't ideal.
"It still will help some of our crop in the panhandle and northern Oklahoma maybe help us with test weight a little bit, but by in large it was too late for our crop and actually the rain may decrease our test weights a little bit in southern Oklahoma," Edwards said.
The rain will also delay harvest of the state's wheat crop. Edwards says the first loads are coming into the elevator in the southern region.
"Around 15 - 20 bushels per acre, test weight of anywhere from 56 - 58 pounds per bushel," Edwards said. "The problem with that is, it doesn't sound too bad, but keep in mind we have so many abandoned acres in southwest Oklahoma that what we are actually cutting is actually the 'best of the best,' so when that is the best you have its a pretty dire situation."
The recent moisture that will delay harvest in some areas, in which sprouting can become a problem.
"Typically that's more of a concern where we are growing hard white winter wheat, but even in hard red winter wheat we can have sprouting issues if we are delayed two or three weeks getting in the field, " Edwards said.
If weather conditions were to stay wet, sprouting would be a concern, but Edwards does not see that as a likely trend. If warm temperatures return, then Edwards looks harvest to be well underway by June first.
"That's a little bit earlier then we were anticipating whenever we were looking at the crop back in March, we were a good two weeks behind schedule, but drought and temperatures in the 100's will speed you up in a hurry, Edwards said."
In having a stressed crop, often times that results in an increase in grain protein. Edwards says attributes the boost in protein to nitrogen.
"And if you have a fairly low yielding crop, but it was able to take up plenty of nitrogen then it can actually increase the protein in the crop and I anticipate we will have good levels of protein in our crop this year, because of the low yield and the dilution factor, Edwards said."
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