USA:Weak Year for Wheat

Final wheat yields on University of Missouri variety testing program plots – at least those that survived – were released last week, reported “Kazakh-Zerno” IA with reference to the “Missouri Ruralist“.

“It was not a good year for wheat,” says Howard Mason of the MU Variety Testing Program. “Like many farmers, we lost a lot of wheat.” 

The plots that survived did well. Top yield of 76.3 bushels per acre was measured at the MU Delta Center, Portageville, where 69 varieties were compared. At Charleston, in Mississippi County, the top-yielding plot was 74.6 bushels per acre among 69 varieties tested. At Chaffee, in Scott County, the top was 55.9 bushels per acre from 49 varieties. 

Across the state, at Trenton, in Grundy County, the top yield was 55.2 bushels among the 49 varieties. In northeast Missouri, at the MU Greenley Research Center, Novelty, the top variety made 40.4 bushels among 49 varieties. 

At Columbia, on the MU Bradford Farm, the top average was 55.9 bushels, in spite of drowned plots on the Oct. 7 planting and a late replant on Nov. 5. 

All plots in western Missouri faced problems both in planting and at harvest. Wet weather delayed or drowned out plots last fall. The plots at Marshall were replanted but did not thrive. “It would be unfair to list those yields for comparison,” Mason says. 

The tests compared soft red winter wheat submitted by seed companies for test. Unlike hard red winter wheat grown for bread production, the Missouri wheat is better suited for soft pastries such as doughnuts. 

Fees from participating seed producers support the variety testing program. Multiple plots are grown at each location to reduce variability caused by different soils and other growing conditions. 

“Yield is usually the first consideration in selecting a variety to plant this fall,” Mason advises. “However, other traits might be more important, depending on local conditions.” For example, a high-yielding variety might lodge easily, making harvest difficult. 

In addition to yield and lodging, the MU testers rated maturity, head type, winter hardiness, height, Hessian fly resistance, stem rust, leaf rust and barley yellow dwarf virus resistance.

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