The Virginia Grain Producers Association has announced the rules and entry forms for the small grains yield contests. This is a great way to promote good small grain management and for top producers to be recognized.
I am receiving numerous reports of wheat and barley fields that were severely injured by cold temperatures. The symptoms are completely or mostly blank/absent kernels on entire heads. What I had seen prior to this week manifested as a few missing kernels on the head, or scattered white heads that were obvious freeze injury. These newly symptomatic fields either seem normal or just slightly ‘off’ from the road but on investigation many heads have no grain. In some cases, the stems are beginning to turn brown and die. At this point I think this is in a few local areas and not widespread. It was obviously a combination of low temps and particular fields that were at a very susceptible stage.
I encourage you to assess small grain fields. Any damage is much less severe near edges, roads or lanes, so scout well out into fields. Those with severe damage should contact their crop insurance adjuster or VCE agent ASAP to assess the yield potential in the field.
Initial results from the 2016 Virginia state wheat and barley tests are available in excel format at:
The full document and summary is coming soon.