A reminder from Dr. Juliet Marshall, Plant Sciences Department Head and Endowed Research Professor of Cereals Agronomy and Pathology at the University of Idaho Research and Extension Center, to pay extra attention to the details in your wheat crop this year.  Current conditions in Idaho are favorable to winter wheat production with the greatest constraint associated with dry conditions.  

  • Heavy stooling increases yield potential for winter wheat and winter barley. While the weather is unpredictable, if the conditions stay favorable to grain growth, consider applications of plant growth hormones to reduce lodging. (If it is not too late in your area.)
  • Take advantage of the extra (and localized) rain events to increase subsoil moisture storage while irrigation is available. Yes, if you have irrigation, use it to increase soil storage capacity for later season moisture shortages, especially beneficial if prediction for hot and dry late spring and summer weather actually occurs.
  • Control yield-robbing weeds.
  • Due to low stripe rust forecasts, I also do not recommend fungicide application at herbicide timing for stripe rust control, even in susceptible varieties. Always scout, and if found, report stripe rust infections to me ASAP so I can get the word out.
  • Pay close attention to conditions at flowering for scab (Fusarium head blight) and potential mycotoxin contamination from DON.
  • When crops are harvest ready, get them out of the field ASAP to reduce the likelihood of sprout damage from August rains.

Profitability is in the details of wheat production