Growers: Watch for wheat disease
It is so nice to have the sun shinning for more than one day at a time! Following Ohio’s worst wet spring conditions in more than 100 years farmers across Delaware County are able to get into the fields and continue planting. Hay is being cut for the first time, and farmers will have the hay bailers rolling soon. Even better news is that mainly dry conditions will continue into next week, despite the chance of rain and thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington. So, hopefully we will get the rest of the corn crop into the ground this coming week. This has been the busiest farm activity we’ve seen all year.
Watch for Wheat Disease
The scab forecasting system is indicating moderate-to-high risk for scab in Northern and Northwestern Ohio for wheat flowering at this time. According to Pierce Paul, OSU Extension Specialist, Plant Pathology, this risk prediction has essentially been the same since last Saturday, suggesting that conditions have been favorable for scab during the last week or so. Although it has not rained since last Friday or Saturday, we have had enough wet and humid days over the last week to keep the risk for scab moderate-to-high. This was the case in several fields last year where high relative humidity resulted in relatively high scab and vomitoxin levels, even in the absence of frequent rainfall during flowering.
Producers with fields flowering at this time should consider applying either Prosaro, Caramba or Folicur to suppress scab and vomitoxin, Paul said. Such an application will also provide protection against late development of Stagonospora. Folicur is less effective against scab than Prosaro and Caramba, however, none of the three products will provide 100 percent scab or vomitoxin reduction. Paul says that at best you can expect about 50 to 60 percent suppression. With drier conditions in the forecast, the risk for scab may be reduced for wheat fields flowering late this week or early next week, however, we will keep you posted for more updates and keep your eyes on your local weather conditions and the scab risk tool to see how things develop.
As the wheat enters the grain fill stage of development, temperatures, especially during the nights, will determine the length of the grain fill period, and consequently, how well the crop yields. Above-average temperatures are forecasted for the next two weeks and this will likely shorten the grain fill period considerably, according to Paul. At temperatures above 85 F, photosynthesis slows down and eventually stops, meaning that the production of materials to fill grain stops. At these same high temperatures, respiration increases, burning up sugars and resulting in lower yield and grain quality. The process of burning up food through respiration at high temperatures without replacing it via photosynthesis is commonly referred to as the wheat crop “shutting down.” So, if the forecast is correct and we do indeed get several hot days over the next few weeks, we can expect a shorter grain fill period and lower yields than in cooler seasons.
Rob Leeds is an OSU Extension Educator for Agriculture/NR.