Saturday, May 15, 2010


The handful of wheat fields in Ohio is flowering in southern Ohio and will soon be in northern Ohio.

This is the lowest seed wheat acreage in Ohio Certified records kept since 1953 when I was 3. That year there were 14,000 seed acres, this year, only 10,000 acres.

Pioneer 25R47 continues to lead the pack with Certified Hopewell close and some newcomers right behind. This is the lowest commercial acreage since 1913, only 800,000 acres in Ohio.

The few fields that are out there look better with every dry, cool, sunny day which wheat thrives on. It likes good drainage and that is about the only fields it got planted in last fall when it was so late and the soybean crop was so far behind due to the cool, moist summer we humans enjoyed.

The major diseases are barley yellow dwarf virus, powdery mildew and Septoria leaf spot and Staganospora leaf and glume blotch. At this point they are very hard to find which is good for wheat growers. Smut and scab could still be a problem but each passing day like I described makes them less of a threat, too.

The worst thing is the market, hovering around $4.50 per bushel when it takes $6 to make a decent profit. The best thing wheat does it provide lots of straw for baling or composting and increases corn and soybean crop income following wheat.

There is good demand for weed free straw and there is a Certified program for that too in Ohio with record interest in that small market. It looks like the old straw barn will be empty again this year with straw worth more to me for compost than for selling. There are lots of nutrients in straw.

I spent 8 hours in wheat school today and wouldn't you know it is one of the prettiest days of the month. May is almost half over!
I saw some new variety releases from AGI or AgriGenetics Inc in Ohio, Beuerlein, named after our Professor Emeritus, the leader in soybean inoculant trials in the U.S. His wife still works for Ohio Seed Improvement Association. The new Bonifide and Branson looked good, Cooper and AgriPro's(Syngenta) W1377. There is a new red chaff soft red winter wheat like Hopewell is called Ruby Red. I think that is a Michigan release.

The beans behind the house will need to be sprayed soon and the corn we looked at yesterday will need a little replanting but it looks better every day. The low spots drowned out with the rainfall we received I gave you two days ago.

That's the way it is down on the farm on May 15.

Have a good one,


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