Winter Wheat Stand Evaluation for 2022

By:  Laura Lindsey

Between planting in the fall and Feekes 4 growth stage (beginning of erect growth) in the spring, winter wheat is vulnerable to environmental stress such as saturated soils and freeze-thaw cycles that cause soil heaving. All of which may lead to substantial stand reduction, and consequently, low grain yield. This year, many areas of Ohio have been wet and wheat plants look poor. However, a stand that looks thin in the spring does not always correspond to low grain yield. Rather than relying on a visual assessment only, we suggest counting the number of wheat stems to help estimate wheat grain yield. Continue reading

Delayed Wheat Planting

By:  Laura Lindsey

In general, the best time to plant wheat is the 10-day period starting the day after the fly-free safe date. When wheat is planted more than 10-days after the fly-free safe date, there is an increased chance of reduced fall growth and reduced winterhardiness. The effect of planting date on wheat yield is shown in Figure 6-2 of the Ohio Agronomy Guide. A free pdf of the guide is available by clicking here: https://stepupsoy.osu.edu/wheat-production/ohio-agronomy-guide-15th-edition (Download the pdf by clicking on the picture of the guide.) Currently, with funding from Ohio Corn and Wheat, we are re-examining the effect of wheat planting date…so stayed tuned next year for those results. Continue reading

Rainy Weather and Wheat Straw Quality

By:  Pierce Paul

Not only has rain delayed the harvest of some fields for grain, it has also delayed the baling of straw in several fields that have been harvested. In Ohio, wheat straw is sometimes just as important or even more important than grain, as it is used as bedding for livestock, and in some cases, as a feed ingredient. Delayed baling due to excessive rainfall could cause the quality of the straw to deteriorate as a result of mold growth. To fungi (molds), wheat straw is nothing more than dead plant tissue ready to be colonized. Under warm, wet conditions, saprophytic fungi (molds that feed of dead plant materials) readily colonize wheat stubble, resulting in a dark moldy cast being formed. This problem is particularly severe in lodged fields.

Some of the molds growing on the wet straw in the field, including the fungus that causes head scab (Fusarium graminearum), also produce mycotoxins such as vomitoxin. This could be a concern when using straw for bedding or as a feed ingredient. In general, vomitoxin levels are much higher in straw than they are in the grain, and even when the straw is used as bedding, a small portion of it is consumed. For instance, depending on the production system, pigs may obtain up to 12% of their total feed intake from straw. Pig are particularly sensitive to vomitoixin – it causes vomiting (hence the name), feed refusal, and low weight gain. A good way to tell if the straw is colonized by the scab fungus it to look at the color of the mold growing on it – a pinkish-white mold would be a good indication that the straw could be contaminated with vomitoxin.

Vomitoxin contamination of straw tends to be highest when the straw is baled from fields with high levels of head scab. In addition, straw from fields that were planted with head scab resistant variates usually contain less vomitoxin than straw from fields plated with susceptible varieties. Thankfully, head scab levels were very low in most fields across the state this year, as a result, initial vomitoxin levels in the straw may be low. However, straw from scab-free fields can still be colonized by the fungus and contaminated with vomitoxin, especially if it goes through repeated wetting and drying cycles before being baled. This would be even more of a problem for those fields that have not yet been harvested, as both the grain and the straw could be contaminated with vomitoxin. Moldy straw could also contain other mycotoxins that are harmful to livestock. So, in addition to examining the straw for mold growth (pinkish color), get a sample tested for mycotoxins before using it for bedding or feed.

In-Person Small Grains Field Day: June 22 at the Northwest Agricultural Research Station in Wood County

By:  Laura Lindsey, Eric Richer, CCA, Nick Eckel, Ed Lentz, CCA

Join OSU Extension for an in-person small grains field day on June 22 at the Northwest Agricultural Research Station in Wood County. Topics include high input wheat, winter malting barley management, specialty small grains (spring small grains, spelt, hard wheat, and more!), weed control, and double-crop opportunities. Continue reading

Should you Expect any Freeze Damage to Winter Wheat? Most likely, no.

By:  Laura Lindsey and Alex Lindsey

The incoming cold temperatures are not likely to impact winter wheat. The magnitude of freeze damage depends on: 1) temperature, 2) duration of temperature, and 3) wheat growth stage.

Prior to the Feekes 6 growth stage, the growing point of wheat is below the soil surface, protected from freezing temperatures. Most of the wheat in Ohio is at the Feekes 4 (beginning of erect growth) or Feekes 5 (leaf sheaths strongly erect) growth stage and should be unaffected by the incoming cold temperatures, predicted to be mid- to low 20s on Wednesday and Thursday. Continue reading

2021 Weed Control Guide and NEW Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations Now Available

Are you looking for up-to-date weed control or fertility information before planting season? The OSU Extension Williams County Office now has copies of the 2021 Ohio, Indiana and Illinois Weed Control Guide and Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations for Corn, Soybean, Wheat, and Alfalfa available for purchase. Continue reading

Still Planting Wheat?

By:  Laura Lindsey and Pierce Paul

Generally, the best time to plant wheat is the 10-day period starting the day after the fly-free-safe date. When wheat is planted more than 10 days after the fly-free-safe date, there is an increased change of reduced fall growth and reduced winter hardiness. The effect of planting date on wheat yield is shown in Figure 6-2 of the Ohio Agronomy Guide, 15th edition.

Continue reading

Surface Application of Manure to Newly Planted Wheat Fields

By:  Glen Arnold, CCA

Several livestock producers have inquired about applying liquid dairy or swine manure to newly planted wheat fields using a drag hose. The thought process is that the fields are firm (dry), there is very little rain in the nearby forecast, and the moisture in the manure could help with wheat germination and emergence. Continue reading

Williams County Wheat Scab Forecast Update

By:  Stephanie Karhoff

Based on the wheat scab forecast tool available at http://www.wheatscab.psu.edu/ susceptible wheat varieties with a flowering date of June 3 are at high risk of developing wheat scab for a wide majority of Williams County.

Wheat scab forecast for susceptible varieties flowering on June 3. Red indicates high risk.

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