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.
The recent hot and dry weather is really drying the wheat down quickly. We harvested our first wheat today (the moisture was ranging from 16 to 20%) and planted soybean immediately afterwards. Just 2 days ago, the wheat grain moisture was in the mid-20’s!
That experiment is part of our ongoing efforts to harvest higher quality wheat and increase our double-crop soybean yields. Now, I’m not advising you to harvest your wheat at 20% unless you have a buyer that will take it, preferably without a discount, or you have a way to dry down quickly. High moisture wheat will heat up quickly and you will need to do something with it right away.
With that said, we have seen great benefits from harvesting higher moisture wheat and getting the soybean planted immediately. Our Mid-Atlantic regional project conducted from 2015 thru 2017 found greater wheat yields and test weight, and greater soybean yields. Our data is shown below. Note that I’m only showing Virginia wheat data as the date where yield began declining differed among the states (this data was earlier as we moved south), but the general shape of the graph was similar. Different colored symbols represent different years.
In summary, there is benefit from harvesting wheat and planting soybean as soon as possible. However, read the previous blog, To Plant or Not to Plant into Dry Soil, before making too many decisions. Not only is our topsoil dry, but the wheat may have removed moisture much deeper – giving us little total soil moisture.
The 2017 Virginia On-Farm Wheat Test Plots have been published and are now available on the Virginia Cooperative Extension website. For more information or a hard copy, contact Mike Broaddus, Extension Agent, at the Caroline County office.
he demonstration and research plot results discussed in this publication are a cooperative effort by seven Virginia Cooperative Extension agents, extension specialists from Virginia Tech, and a VCE summer intern. We are proud to present this year’s on-farm small grain plot work to you. We hope the information in this publication will help farmers produce a profitable crop in 2018.
The Virginia Grain Producers Association is proud to announce the 2018 Virginia Wheat and Hard Wheat Yield Contest Winners.
This year’s winners come from counties across the Commonwealth and have once again proven that Virginia producers are capable of achieving exceptional yields. Yield contests, such as this, are an important element in our mission to highlight and communicate the accomplishments of Virginia agriculture to our industry partners and the general public. The top-ranked growers will be given cash prizes donated by the providers of their winning seed, and will be fully recognized with a plaque presented by one of our industry leaders at the Virginia Grains and Soybean Annual Conference next February.
At 108.6 bushels per acre, Alan Welch’s wheat took first place. Katie Myer’s hard wheat yield of 85.7 bushels per acre claimed first prize.
The hard wheat portion of the contest is sponsored by Mennel Milling to highlight the planting of hard wheat in the Commonwealth. Hard wheat is primarily used as a bread wheat. The majority of the wheat grown in Virginia is soft red winter wheat, which is used in bakery products such as flat breads, cakes, pastries and crackers.
2018 Virginia Wheat Yield Contest Winners
1st Place $700: Alan Welch, Welch Farms, Inc., Northumberland County
108.6 Bu/Acre, Pioneer 26R59
2nd Place $500: Justin Welch, Welch Farms, Inc., Northumberland County
105.5 Bu/Acre, Pioneer 26R59
3rd Place $300: Paul Davis, Davis Produce, New Kent County
89.6 Bu/Acre, AgriMaxx 463
2018 Virginia Hard Wheat Yield Contest Winners
1st Place $700: Katie Myer, Richmond County
85.7 Bu/Acre, Vision 45
2nd Place $500: Paul Davis, Davis Produce, New Kent County
78.5 Bu/Acre, Vision 45
Many thanks go out to The Mennel Milling Company of Virginia, Pioneer, AgriMaxx, and UniSouth Genetics (USG) for sponsoring the Small Grain Yield Contests.
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.