Wheat Crop Ready for Winter- Moisture Going Forward Will Determine Fate of the 2015 CropMon, 24 Nov 2014 05:25:05 CST
The early arriving cold temperatures into Oklahoma earlier this month did little harm to the 2015 Oklahoma Hard Red Winter Wheat Crop- so says OSU Extension Small Grains Specialist Dr. Jeff Edwards. Edwards says that the majority of the crop handled the blue norther that hit Oklahoma with ease.
He does say that a very small percentage of the wheat that was planted early may have gotten too far along in development before the colder weather set in- and there were a few fields where the wheat got confused about the season and was trying to head out. Edwards reports "I've seen some of those wheat fields go ahead and start to head out this fall- due to day length- they thought it was May instead of August or September. And in those cases, I expect that this last freeze event will terminate much of the crop in those fields." He believes it becomes a rescue effort to get something out of those fields- "it becomes a salvage operation at this point if you're in that situation- the key is to get a lot of cattle out there to utilize that forage, because what you have is about all you're gonna get."
Except for these few fields where the cold weather proved to be a killer- the 2015 wheat crop looks promising- Edwards says "It realy is a testament to the wheat plant and how amazing it is in how it is able to adapt that quickly and handle the cold conditions- I know it handled the cold better than I did."
While there is a potentially good crop now out in the field- the comparision to 2014 is scary- Edwards says that we once again are "living paycheck to paycheck on a lot of these wheat fields in terms of moisture. If we continue to get some mositure...we are on our way to a decent wheat crop in 2015. If we have a repeat of last year and taps are turned off and we do not see moisture again until April, we could likely have the same result that we had in 2014."
Edwards talked with Farm Director Ron Hays about the status of the crop and current management practices needed winter arrives. You can hear their conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
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