Ongoing Rains Raise Concerns on Wheat Quality

While Hard Red Winter wheat states spend the bulk of the growing season concerned about rains that didn’t appear, focus now is on rains that won’t stop.  Unfortunately, it came just in time to delay harvest.  USDA’s Crop Progress report issued Monday showed just 2% of Kansas and 47% of Oklahoma’s wheat crop had been harvested, compared to 19% and 56% on average.  That was before the past 10 days showered parts of the state in as much as 7 inches of rain.  Farmers now are concerned about cutting a crop of short, thin stands with low yield and wondering whether or not it makes financial sense to cut it.
On the other side of the grainbelt, soft red winter wheat farmers are struggling with a different problem.  Unlike the drought-ridden hard red winter wheat crop – the soft red wheat grown primarily east of the Mississippi River had a good growing season until the rains kept coming. Now it is suffering from a disease problem that will rob yield and premium – says University of Illinois Extension Plant Pathologist Carl Bradley
Carl Bradley 1
The disease pressure set in just about the time the soft red winter wheat crop flowered. Weather conditions were perfect, wet and warm, for the development of the fungus.
Carl Bradley 2
A disease that is and will continue to cause the quality of the winter wheat crop to deteriorate.