UNL CropWatch March 4, 2011 Field Updates: Western Nebraska Wheat Below Par

UNL CropWatch March 4, 2011 Field Updates: Western Nebraska Wheat Below Par

March 4, 2011

Douglas Anderson, Extension Educator in Keith, Arthur, and Perkins counties: We have a lot of sickly looking wheat. Dry conditions at planting and slow development of wheat coupled with very cold temperatures and little snow cover has stressed wheat plants.

Karen DeBoer, Extension Educator in Cheyenne County: We are waiting to see how the wheat looks when it starts growing again this spring. Right now, leaves are brown and damaged from the extreme cold temperatures and wind and lack of sufficient snow cover. Last fall, dry conditions affected germination and growth of the plants going into the winter. Moisture and good growing conditions are needed this spring.

William Booker, Extension Educator in Box Butte County:  Wheat conditions in the Panhandle are still speculative as we're among the last areas in the state to green up. We;ve had little wind erosion of wheat fields — as windy as it has been we have seen much worse. Generally speaking, we have had more moisture in the northern Panhandle, which has helped the wheat make it through the winter.

The southwest part of the Panhandle has been drier and has had some filling in of the spotty stands with fall moisture and minimal wind erosion. Fallowed fields may be okay if the roots make it to the subsoil that was replenished early last summer -- after July 4 there were 90 plus days without rain. Producers should be looking closely to determine any problems with stand as we get some warmer weather.

USDA Report

On Feb. 28 USDA reported that wheat conditions in Nebraska rated 1% very poor, 12% poor, 47% fair, 37% good, and 3% excellent, below last year. Hay and forage supplies rated 0% very short, 6% short, 92% adequate, and 2% surplus, above a year ago.