When you get a combination of low temperatures, dry soils and poorly developed wheat crops it creates a concern among farmers about the wheats chances of surviving the winter. Will the wheat survive the combination of those conditions?
“Where wheat plants have a good crown root system and two or more tillers, they will tolerate the cold better. If plants are poorly developed going into winter, with very few secondary roots and no tillers, they will be more susceptible to winterkill or desiccation, especially when soils remain dry,” Jim Shroyer, K-State Research and Extension crop production specialist said. “Poor development of secondary roots may not be readily apparent unless the plants are pulled up and examined” he added.
If the seed is not planted at the correct depth, about one and a half to two inches, the crown will not be protected good enough from the weather conditions. The crown needs to be reasonably well protected in the soil so it can be protected from cold temperatures. If the wheat seed was planted to shallowly then the crown will not be buffered from the winter weather and will be more susceptible to winterkill.
Temperature ranges in the fall also have an effect on winterkill. If the temperatures suddenly drop into the low teens the wheat plants will not have had enough time to winter harden. If the fall temperatures gradually drop then the wheat will be adequately cold harden and should be able to handle the winter.
In most cases, producers won’t know for sure if the wheat has survived cold temperatures until early next spring.
In Harvey County, recent rains have stimulated yet another flush of volunteer wheat. Volunteer wheat is known to be an important reservoir for wheat streak mosaic and wheat curl mites that spread this disease. Many growers are asking if this newly emerged volunteer elevates the risk for problems with wheat streak mosaic becoming established this fall.
While volunteer wheat is known to be an important reservoir for wheat streak mosaic, all volunteer wheat is not equal in its contribution to disease outbreaks. The greatest risk comes from volunteer wheat that emerged shortly after harvest and was left all summer long. This volunteer wheat is rapidly colonized by the curl mites and infected with viral diseases. When this volunteer wheat is removed, the risk is reduced because the virus and curl mites do not survive more than a few hours without a living host. If new volunteer wheat emerges during the summer or fall, the risk of disease returns but not to the same degree. The risk is lower relative to the initial flush because there is less time for it to be colonized by curl mites and infected with virus prior to wheat planting. Volunteer wheat that emerges at planting, or just as the new wheat crop is emerging, is less likely to become a reservoir for disease than volunteer that has been present all summer. If fact, the late emerging volunteer wheat may pose no more risk than early planted wheat fields.
The need to control this volunteer wheat depends on the density of the stand and rotational plans for individual fields. A thin stand of sparse volunteer wheat may be able to wait until other planned herbicide applications are made in the spring. In contrast, a heavy or thick stand of volunteer wheat or other winter annual grasses like jointed goat grass, downy brome, or other brome species may necessitate some action this fall. Glyphosate is our best herbicide for controlling these winter annual grasses. Glyphosate can be tank-mixed with other residual herbicide programs that often are used to manage winter annual broadleaf weeds such as mustards, henbit, or mares tail.
Which wheat fields are most likely to be infested with Hessian fly in the fall? It depends on residue management, variety, planting date, the presence of nearby volunteer wheat, the use of insecticide seed treatments, and crop rotation. Continue reading “Factors That Influence Hessian Fly Fall Infestations”
Coming into spring is a good time to evaluate and perform maintenance on terraces if fields are in wheat stubble, especially since it has been dry lately this year. In Kansas, over 9 million acres of land is protected by more than 290,000 miles of terraces, making Kansas No. 2 in the U.S. for this soil and water conservation practice. To accomplish their purpose for erosion control and water savings, terraces must have adequate capacity, ridge height and channel width. Continue reading “Terraces Evaluations”
Where volunteer wheat has emerged, producers should consider beginning control measures soon, if possible, rather than waiting until closer to wheat planting time. This is especially important on fields where wheat was hailed out and volunteer wheat emerged at the time of harvest, or shortly afterward. Continue reading “Mid-Summer Control of Volunteer Wheat”
The severe problems wheat producers had with wheat streak mosaic virus this year can be traced back in most cases to a lack of control of volunteer wheat – especially the volunteer wheat that got started early after widespread hail damage to wheat just before harvest in 2016. It is important to keep that from happening again. Where wheat has been hailed out this year, volunteer wheat control should start immediately. Continue reading “Wheat Streak Mosaic”
The 2017 In-Depth Kansas State Diagnostic Wheat School, will occur in the Experiment Field in Hutchinson on May 10-11.
This will help you in depth in all aspects of weed control, soil fertility, disease management, insects and summer cover crops. Registration is NOT needed.
Note: This is a 1.5 day event where CCA/CEU credits will be available. Continue reading “2017 In-Depth Wheat Diagnostic School Speaker Schedule”