What happened to the wheat this year? | TheFencePost.com

What happened to the wheat this year?

Richard Snell
Barton County Extension Agent

I’d like to say I could tell you how to make money on wheat in three easy lessons, but it’s just not that easy. Well, it can be if the weather cooperates. This year, there was some really good wheat out there but there was also some really lousy wheat, especially down in the sand and east of here in the state. I saw wheat yields range from 15-90 bushels per acre.

As I have said before, most of the wheat in the northwestern two-thirds of Barton County and in the state, west of here did very well. In some cases the best wheat ever in western Kansas.

That kind of fits, if you think about it. In years when it is wet in the fall and spring, it usually favors western Kansas because they get more than normal and just like in Goldy Locks and the Three Bears, that porridge is just right. However, it usually means too much disease in the east and that’s because it’s too wet. Seldom do we see a good crop state-wide.

So, we were in that transition zone, but got more good than bad.

Again though explaining why is complicated because I don’t think it was just one thing. The bad wheat was caused by a wet fall that caused a lot of November planted wheat. This year, late planted wheat didn’t do well. Some of it winter killed and was thin.

On the other hand, some of the really early planted wheat didn’t do well either. Now here is where I have to define what’s too early. Three weeks before the fly-free date is too early. This wheat got too rank and the late freezes damaged it.

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There was hail damage in some isolated areas. Also, we had some barley yellow dwarf disease which is spread by aphids on some of the earlier planted stuff. Then the stripe rust hit. Later, came the mud holes.