OSU Wheat Team Delivers Latest Information on Status of Oklahoma's Wheat Crop in New WebinarMon, 02 Apr 2018 16:12:35 CDT
On Monday morning, Oklahoma State University’s Department of Plant & Soil Sciences broadcast its first in a series of Oklahoma Wheat Update webinars that will be featured each Monday at 8:30 a.m. for the next three weeks, with four webinar episodes in total. Today, members of the OSU Extension Wheat Team including Dr. Jeff Edwards, professor and department head of Plant and Soil Sciences, Extension Small Grains Specialist Dr. Dave Marburger, Extension Plant Pathologist Dr. Bob Hunger, and Brian Arnall, associate professor of soil and food crop nutrition, began the program as they will each time during this series, with an initial update of the current condition of Oklahoma’s wheat crop. This was followed by a series of questions submitted by viewers that tuned into the broadcast. You can listen to a few excerpts from today’s program, featuring Dr. Dave Marburger offering his latest observations and advice to wheat farmers across the state, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
Texas Disease Scouting on the Rise
During the initial update, Dr. Hunger briefed viewers on the current status of foliar disease threats in Oklahoma. According to him, this is the time of year where most attention is paid to the southern border of Oklahoma and into Texas for signs of any potential threats for wheat disease. Hunger says inoculum for both Stripe and Leaf Rust are beginning to build up in parts of southern Texas. Typically, such reports happen as much as three weeks or more before this time, which gives Hunger reason to believe Rust will not be a major issue for farmers in Oklahoma this year, especially with the weather expected to warm up in the very near future.
However, some cases of septoria have been identified in Oklahoma as have a small number of winter grain mites, aphids and powdery mildew in areas around Geary, Okla. Unless the state sees large amounts of rain very soon, though, Hunger says the threat of foliar disease in Oklahoma is somewhat limited this year.
Wide Range in Crop Condition and Development
According to Dr. Marburger, the current crop condition ratings provided by the USDA, indicate the crop is doing rather poorly on the whole, but with a rather large range of progress across the state nonetheless. He reports that in southwest Oklahoma, some stands are getting their flagleaves already while in other area fields are just now beginning to green up and see stem elongation. Marburger says localized drought and dry conditions has certainly stunted many fields, as have extended cooler temperatures and a lack of moisture at critical growth stages. In addition, excessive grazing has also added stress to the crop which seems to have slowed developmentally. Marburger says later planted wheat harbors the best chance at a successful crop - though fields planted too late, may lack the necessary plant growth to achieve full potential. If timely rain does come, he suggests some farmers may be able to salvage a decent crop.
Planting Date and Early Season Growth Impacting Nitrogen
Dr. Arnall echoed Marburger’s comments insisting that there is varied inconsistencies statewide in the crop developmentally. In many cases, Arnall says wheat fields are suffering from Nitrogen deficiency. He believes if plants are between growth stage levels 5 to 6 going into 7, there is a chance for plants to recover from Nitrogen stress. By level 8 (flagleaf stage), Arnall says the opportunity for a plant to recover starts declining.
Arnall advises farmers that if the weather is hot and dry once wheat starts heading and ripening - don’t do anything. But if grain-fill starts during cool temperatures and high humidity, there could be an opportunity to make some applications that could benefit protein.
For more advice and insight into the current condition of Oklahoma’s wheat crop including Marburger’s thoughts on what impact freezing temperatures will have on plants and why USDA’s outlook is so pessimistic, click or tap the LISTEN BAR below.
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