Small Grain Development and Disease Forecast
Posted: June 10, 2014
Small grain development is still a bit late. Our wheat headed around May 30 and a typical average might be May 23 to 25 at Rock Springs. Our later planted wheat was delayed into June for heading dates. This late development will likely impact double cropping planting dates and might eliminate the option for some on the northern fringes of double cropping.
The wheat scab risk has generally been rated by the wheat scab model as low to medium, but a lot of our wheat had experienced multiple showers during flowering and some heavy rains during early grain fill. This has me a bit concerned about the actual scab risk potential for our crop. Wheat has been sprayed in many areas with Prosaro or Caramba as precaution. The heavy rains that we’ve had will likely start the movement of the leaf blotch diseases up through the canopy as the wheat moves through the grain fill period. Our wheat trials in Centre County have had low powdery mildew levels at this point. The fungicide applications will likely limit the development of the leaf blotch and glume blotch diseases. Comparing sprayed and skipped areas in the corners of fields is one way to measure the visual impacts of fungicides on these diseases.
The crops are providing some feedback on improving management tactics for next year. We should be trying to manage wheat for consistent heading dates on farms will help with the timing and effectiveness of fungicide applications from custom applicators. Striving for uniformity in N applications will minimize variability, boost yields and avoid lodging in wheat.
Lodging is also appearing in barley as is often the case where we try to manage for high yields with higher N rates. Some options on these fields in the future might be to delay some of the N until GS 5-6 in April and potentially use a growth regulator like Pallisade as part of the management.
Another interesting phenomenon I have observed in several fields is advanced maturity over the old corn rows. This could be the result of residual P from the starter giving a boost to the crop in the fall. It suggests that some fields benefit from the preplant P and K applications and there might be a response to starter applications on small grains in some cases.