Oklahoma Farmers Distressed Over Underperforming Wheat Crop Still Have Hope Yet - If It RainsWed, 07 Feb 2018 16:50:41 CST
To the dismay of farmers across the state, Oklahoma’s wheat crop, at least at first glance, does not seem to be performing at its best nor at some level which growers could be satisfied with. However, Oklahoma’s Small Grains Specialist David Marburger, shined a silver lining to the current situation in a recent interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays. You can hear that entire interview, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“The good news is, we’re still in winter dormancy, so we’re not doing a whole lot of growing right now,” Marburger said. “There is a lot of concern, though, about spotty stands and smaller plants than maybe we would have liked to see going into winter. But whether you believe me or not, there’s still potential out there - if we could just get a rain.”
While Marburger is optimistic that the fate of this year’s crop could turn around, the raincloud on that hopeful outlook, is that there simply isn’t one. The latest weather models and forecasts have all predicted that little to no precipitation will occur here in the state through at least through May into early summer. But Marburger says he is not going to worry about the situation yet. He insists there is still time to wait and see which scenario plays out as the crop comes out of dormancy.
“If we don’t have any moisture by then or soon after,” he said, “that’s when things are really going to get dire and very quickly.”
In the meantime, farmers are debating whether or not to invest in inputs this year. While top-dress Nitrogen applications are badly needed in order to produce protein rich grain this year, farmers are hesitant to commit to that with the lack of rain necessary to drive the Nitrogen into the ground.
“That’s a really tough decision right now given what it looks like with regard to rainfall,” Marburger remarked. “It’s almost kind of like pick your poison here.”
Marburger is advising farmers to utilize Nitrogen rich strips and base their topdressing decisions on them. He maintains that farmers should wait to see what happens of the next several weeks before ultimately deciding to either graze, grain or terminate and replant with a summer crop.
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