Wheat Condition and Soil Moisture Reports

April 8, 2016

This week the National Drought Monitor rated almost 25% of Nebraska as "abnormally dry," a major change from 0% since Jan. 1. Most of the affected area was along the southern tier of Nebraska counties.

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Nebraska Wheat Condition 60% Good-Excellent

April 5, 2016

For the week ending April 3 temperatures varied widely across Nebraska, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Parts of the Panhandle experienced below normal temperatures, while large portions of eastern Nebraska experienced temperatures up to five degrees above normal.

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Freeze Damage to Western Nebraska Wheat Mostly Cosmetic

April 1, 2016
Snow-covered wheat field at UNL's HPAL 3/31/2016
Figure 1. Snow-covered wheat near Sidney is not expected to sustain yield-losing freeze damage as the growing point is still below the soil surface. (Photos by Travis Orrell)

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Wheat Leaf Rust Confirmed in Nebraska

March 31, 2016
On March 30, leaf rust was found in several wheat fields in Nuckolls County in south central Nebraska. Severity was trace (Figure 1), but the rust was found in every field surveyed. Presence of leaf rust in Nebraska this early in the growing season suggests it may have overwintered or is a result of unusually warm winter temperatures which resulted in earlier than normal movement of spores from southern states into our region.

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Wheat Rust in Kansas; Start Scouting Nebraska Fields

March 22, 2016
Due to above average temperatures this winter and going into the spring, coupled with moisture, stripe rust and leaf rust have moved north from southern states sooner than expected.

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Wheat with freeze injury

Assessing Freeze Injury to Wheat

Extension advises growers who are concerned about recent abnormally low temperatures to wait five days or so after the freeze to assess plant damage, as it takes several days of warm weather for injury to become apparent.

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What's New in Winter Wheat Varieties

A USDA-ARS – University of Nebraska collaboration released two new wheat varieties — Husker Genetics Freeman Brand and NE05548 (Husker Genetics Brand Panhandle) — in 2013-2014.  Both varieties will have limited seed available this fall for planting.

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