Timely control of volunteer wheat and other weeds is key to managing yield loss risk in your 2018 crop. Yield-limiting risk factors affected by weed control include wheat streak mosaic and other diseases, insects (wheat stem sawfly and disease vectors), moisture loss, and increased weed seed production.
While the mild fall promoted wheat establishment, it also favored survival of wheat curl mites, the leading vector of several viruses common to Nebraska wheat. While much of the state's wheat crop entered winter in very good condition, growers are urged to scout for viruses this spring and assess yield potential of individual fields when making management decisions.
By far, the greatest risk of losses from mite-vectored viruses occurs when there is a summer "green bridge" of volunteer wheat emerging before harvest. This almost always occurs as a result of wheat seed head shatter from hail storms (Figure 1).