Wheat Tour Midday Report - Day 2

Cold Wheat and Critical Questions

Pam Smith
By  Pam Smith , Crops Technology Editor
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Hard red winter wheat tour scouts Rick Horton (left) and Brian Walker (right) dig into the snow to measure wheat in western Kansas on Wednesday morning. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (DTN) -- The second morning of the hard red winter wheat tour led scouts farther into areas struggling with weather woes.

Rick Horton, a wheat farmer from Leoti, dug into snow banks on his farm to uncover wheat that a week ago would have had the potential to make 100 bushels per acre. It was a field he had been pushing for yield, but 18 inches of snow, winds and additional rain last night now have him hoping at least 50% of the yield potential remains. "We won't know for a couple of weeks which way this will go," he said.

Scouts have found a mixed variety of conditions Wednesday morning, but those fields hammered by snow and water need more time to assess how much damage has occurred.

Wheat streak mosaic virus became a major problem starting last fall. Fields with volunteer wheat left a green bridge and home for wheat curl mite. With no cure or input to control the viral infection, surrounding fields are vulnerable. Scouts are finding many fields where the virus has taken a toll on stands.

East of Garden City, erratic stands of wheat and some destroyed stands were found. The stands never established last fall due to drought conditions.

Still, the big news is weather and whether those lodged and sodden fields will make a comeback. The best situation would be for a slow warming trend (not too hot) and no more rain in the forecast, Horton said.

Cars continue on to Wichita this afternoon. Watch for details about the day later this evening.

The tour continues through May 4, heading from Wichita toward Kansas City. Follow DTN reporter Pamela Smith on Twitter @PamSmithDTN and #wheattour17.

Pam Smith can be reached at pam.smith@dtn.com

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Pam Smith