The wheat crop in northwest Kansas is off to a rough start this spring. Harsh winter temperatures and dry soil conditions are among the dominant issues on producer’s minds. There are a few bright spots to consider.
This past week, we had the opportunity to evaluate winter injury at demonstration plots in Phillips, Rooks, Thomas, Sherman, and Cheyenne counties. We also gathered information from the variety performance tests at Colby. There was a marked difference among the varieties with symptoms ranging from only minor leaf damage to what appeared to be more than 80% stand loss.
Figure 1. Wheat variety with apparent winter injury in plots in northwest Kansas, March 31, 2015. Photos by Erick DeWolf, K-State Research and Extension.
Figure 2. Wheat variety with good winter survival to this point, from same plots as the wheat in the photo above.
Wheat varieties were rated by the percentage of visual symptoms of winter injury a combination of leaf injury and apparent loss of stand. Varieties that appear to have less winter injury this spring include (alphabetical order): 1863, Byrd, Denali, Everest, KanMark, LCS-Pistol, SY Monument, T158, TAM 114, WB-Cedar, and Winterhawk. It may be helpful to note which varieties look good this this time so that we can better explain how these varieties perform after harvest.
Erick De Wolf, Extension Plant Pathology
Jeanne Falk-Jones, Sunflower Extension District Agronomist
Cody Miller, Phillips-Rooks Extension District Agent
Jim Shroyer, Crop Production Specialist Emeritus