Recent Rains Help the 2015 Wheat Crop- and the Attitudes of Wheat Growers- Jeff EdwardsSat, 25 Apr 2015 13:29:57 CDT
The 2015 Oklahoma Hard Red Winter Wheat Crop has responded to recent rain as well as the overcast, cooler days- and Dr. Jeff Edwards, OSU Extension Small Grains Specialist, says "It's amazing what a little bit of rain will do for the wheat as well as the growers' attitudes."
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Dr. Edwards at the Chickasha Wheat Field Day in Grady County on Friday- and you can hear their full conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
Edwards believes some of the better wheat in the state in 2015 may be produced in south central and parts of southwestern Oklahoma. Timely rains from Chickasha to Apache to Walters has the crop in those locations looking very good. All three of these communities had wheat field tours this past week- conducted by Dr. Edwards and other members of the OSU Wheat Improvement Team.
The Extension Specialist is more concerned about the central(I-40 and north), north central and north western parts of the state- saying drought had already done significant damage to the 2015 crop- and that while the rains of this month will help salvage some productive capacity of the crop- they will not fully restore most wheat fields in these areas before the combines roll at the end of May and the first half of the month of June.
Dr. Edwards is also concerned about a likely explosion of strip rust across much of the wheat belt in Oklahoma this growing season. He believes that the crop in southwestern Oklahoma is far enough along that the crop can finish below much damage will result- but he is less convinced that will be the case points north.
As for harvest- he sees the recent rains and cooler April pulling harvest back to more of a "normal" pattern- with early harvest down around Grandfield to in gear on or before Memorial Day- with active cutting in southwestern Oklahoma by early June and quickly after that- northward.
While it's too early to be talking seriously about total production numbers- Jeff Edwards sees a crop easily surpassing last year's disaster- and one that could approach 100 million bushels in Oklahoma this season- if conditions are at least normal between now and when the combines roll. In Oklahoma, that's asking for a lot.
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