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From the field

Agronomy insights about the wheat crop from experts across the state of Kansas.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Skyland Grain

Southeast Colorado: Quayde Thompson, Agronomist

Thompson said the wheat in his area looks good. They have had some hail, but he doesn’t know the extent of the damage.

He said the heads are maturing pretty slow. May being a cooler month slowed them down quite a bit. He looked at a field today (June 3) and there was only a third to half of the wheat seed formed. He thinks they’re behind our

normal harvest schedule.

He has seen some rust, but nothing to worry about at this point. He said that even if someone did want to spray, all the fungicides have a 30 day until harvest restriction.

To learn more about Skyland Grain, visit their website. 

Mid Kansas Cooperative (MKC)

McPherson County, Kansas: Jared Jones, Strategic Account Manager

 Jones said most of the wheat in the McPherson County area is done flowering and moving into grain fill stages.He said it will be very beneficial to the wheat crop if we can maintain high temperatures in the 70’s-80’s during much of the grain fill period moving forward as that is typically what gives wheat the best yields. He said right now the forecast for the next 10 days or so looks pretty favorable for that to happen, so we will hope that holds true.

Marion County, Kansas: Jared Miller, Field Marketer

 Miller said from his point of view, he is seeing a lot of fusarium head blight (head scab). A lot of this is brought on by prolonged moisture and humidity, and the infection will continue as long as weather conditions are favorable and at susceptible growth stages.

Growth stages are susceptible at flowering (feekes 10.5.1) through early dough stage (feekes 11.2).

He said the disease will cause shriveled kernels and low test weight. These lightweight kernels can be separated from healthy grain at harvest by increasing the convinces speed.

To learn more about MKC, visit their website. 

Midway Coop

Smith County, Kansas: Jeff Hammer, Agronomist

Hammer said they have had plenty of rain but have managed to stay away from anything major on hail.  Right now much of the wheat is flowering and some of the earlier maturing varieties and fields are past flower.

He said stripe rust is visible in most fields right now, but pressure is low and you really have to look hard to find it.  He is also seeing leaf rust nearly everywhere, but again pressure is relatively low.

He is telling growers, with the forecast in mind, if they feel they have near 50-bushel wheat or better, he would suggest spraying it as the weather should be conducive for further development.

He said growers also need to be aware of head scab (Fusarium head blight) showing up as we had plenty of cloudy, muggy, rainy days during flowering.  If wheat is still flowering, there could be some suppression of the disease with a triazole application of fungicide, most notably Caramba or Prosaro.

To learn more about Midway Coop, visit their website.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Mid Kansas Cooperative (MKC)

Sumner, Reno, Sedgwick and Harper Counties, Kansas: Willie Swartz, Master Agronomy Advisor

Roughly 80 percent of the wheat in the countryside is headed, Swartz said. The earlier planted wheat looks good at the moment, and later wheat doesn’t look bad, but won’t be the bumper crop that the earlier planted wheat has the potential of being.

He said rust started to show up in susceptible varieties at the beginning of last week. With the forecast of wet weather, more growers decided to put a fungicide on to protect their investment.

McPherson County, Kansas: Jared Jones, Strategic Account Manager

 Jones said some of the wheat is beginning to flower in his area.

Stripe rust can be found in the more susceptible varieties, but it isn’t widespread at this time. Leaf rust and powdery mildew are also showing up, especially the powdery mildew with all of the moisture.He said some of the wheat in the flat, waterlogged areas is starting to drown out and will, unfortunately, take away some bushels from this year’s crop.

“A big chunk of our territory is forecasted to receive 5-7 inches of rain this week so that will be something we will have to watch,” he said.

Marion County, Kansas: Brandon Schrag, Field Marketer

 Schrag says the only thing new in his area is that he’s seeing some stripe rust starting to show up in fields.  He said the pressure is low and due to timing they will not be applying any fungicides anymore due to pre-harvest interval.


To learn more about MKC, visit their website.

Skyland Grain

Southeast Colorado: Quayde Thompson, Agronomist

Thompson said the wheat is looking very good for the most part. There’s wheat that looks like it’ll make 100 bushels/acre then there’s some that looks like it might make 20 bushels/acre.

He said that prior to the rain there was wheat turning brown; hopefully, the rain helps it. Some of the fields just don’t look like they’ll produce much.

He’s heard they’re spraying for rust around Garden City area, but not a lot has been found. Just the proactive farmers being preventative. In the Holly area, there’s some spraying going on as well and some stripe rust has been found, but not a lot either.

In the Prowera County area, wheat headed out about a week and a half ago during the cold spell, so there are some fields that have some head damage.

To learn more about Skyland Grain, visit their website.

Midway Coop

Smith County, Kansas: Jeff Hammer, Agronomist

Hammer said they are mostly heading on the wheat with some of the later plantings still in the boot stage. He estimated 80 percent of the wheat is heading.

He personally has not found any stripe rust in his area yet, but with cool, damp weather in the forecast, surely it will be showing up. He said he was made aware of some confirmed stripe rust showing up on the western fringes of his territory in western Smith County. He has some growers spraying fungicide on their better-potential yielding wheat fields as a 50-bushel yield is a requirement for an economic return if they have any sort of decent yield history at all.

The one weed they are noticing coming back is wild buckwheat. He said this weed was pretty much eliminated from a lot of acres over the years but increasing cover cropping and poor economics have decreased the number of residual herbicides used that have effectively controlled it.

“I am sure in the better yielding fields we will have some low protein levels due to a lot of moisture moving and or causing denitrification,” Hammer said.

To learn more about Midway Coop, visit their website.

Cooperative Grain and Supply

Hillsboro, Kansas: Jeff Naysmith, Agronomist

Naysmith says wheat conditions are all over the board. Some of the wheat looks very good, and some is very poor and have been/will be destroyed. “In most cases, the poorest wheat failed due to water ponding,” Naysmith said. “Two weeks ago, much of the area received between 5 and 10 inches of moisture with significant flooding in flood-prone areas.”

He said there are some pockets with moderate hail damage, but not much damage overall.

He says stripe rust is active in the area. There are some fungicide applications that have been made, mainly on fields with the best yield potential, or were planted to Everest. The earliest wheat is pollinating now. The latest wheat has a few heads starting to emerge. There is a 10-14 day difference in maturity.

In regards to spraying applications, he says if the producer wants only rust knockdown, they have been using 4 oz. Onset/ac. If the producer wants some residual, they have used 5 oz. RustEase/ac.

To learn more about Cooperative Grain and Supply, visit their website.

Ag Partners Coop

Wakefield, Kansas: Chance Remington, Seed Lead

Remington said stripe rust is in his area and he is noticing the guys who tried to cut corners by using a contact only fungicide as it did not contain the problem. He said without the residual of a product, such as Trivapro, a later flush of rust will show up in a treated field.

To learn more about Ag Partners Coop, visit their website.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Ag Partners Coop

Wakefield and  Chapman, Kansas: Chance Remington, Seed Lead and Ryan Gierhan, Sales Agronomist

This wet, cool weather is setting the stage for disease to start showing up, reported Ryan Gierhan and Chance Remington.

“We need to be advising growers that they need to be looking for powdery mildew, leaf rust and stripe rust starting to spore up,” Gierhan said.

They said disease will become noticeable especially on the taller, earlier wheat where the head is in boot stage. Remington said as the flag leaf develops, growers need to get it covered and protect the yield as best as they can.

To learn more about Ag Partners Coop, visit their website.

Mid Kansas Cooperative (MKC)

McPherson County, Kansas: Jared Jones, Agronomist

Jones says they have had a lot of rain last week. There was roughly 2.50 inches to 3.50-inch totals around McPherson county.

The later planted wheat doesn’t look like it is going to be great, he said. It’s been thinner and doesn’t have the potential of the earlier planted wheat which looks very good.

He said if we continue this cool, wet pattern through grain fill we are setting up for some very good yields on those acres.

“I still haven’t heard or seen rust reports from this area but we are having the setup that is conducive to rust development so we are continuing to scout and encourage producers to do the same, especially as the heads begin to emerge in the coming week,” Jones said. “We have been putting plans together with our member-owners and trying to make those decisions ahead of time so we are ready when the timing is right.”

Sumner, Reno, Sedgwick and Harper Counties, Kansas:  Willie Swartz, Agronomist

Swartz said the wheat looks good in his area where the grower has a good stand, and most of the wheat is flag leaf with some heads starting to push.

Wheat in Reno county around Haven, KS. Photo by Willie Swartz.

He said while scouting in Sumner county a few days ago, the wheat was 50% headed or it looked like it was starting to head.

He was in Reno county last week and saw the first signs of rust showing up on one plant in the bottom canopy. He pulled 10 plants and only found it on the one plant, so there’s a light infestation.

His area had 3 inches of rain last week and they are currently very wet. He said since all of the area has received rain over the week at some point everyone is sitting still.

To learn more about MKC, visit their website.

Midway Coop

Smith County: Jeff Hammer, Agronomist

Some of the earlier planted wheat in Smith county is at flag leaf, Hammer reported.

They are trending on the dry side, but the wheat hasn’t shown any visual stress because it has remained cool the last 10 days. A good rain this week would set them up for a solid crop.

He has been scouting for stripe rust in his area but has not found any yet. He has one grower getting ready to spray fungicide at this time.

Hammer said the thicker wheat does warrant fungicide as the cooler than normal weather will be conducive to stripe rust development.  However, some of their double-cropped wheat probably does not warrant a fungicide if it doesn’t have close to a 50-bushel potential.

He said with the current price, wheat yielding in the 40’s will likely end up having an insurance claim due to much higher plant price. In that instance, growers would be spending money to decrease revenue claim on the wheat. These are just some scenarios he runs through with growers.

To learn more about Midway Coop, visit their website.


Skyland Grain

Southeast Colorado: Quayde Thompson, Agronomist

Thompson said he hasn’t seen any diseases yet, but he’s spoken to a producer near the Holly area and he said his crop duster has seen rust.

He said the wheat up north by Holly looks great. They received some moisture earlier and it looks like it could be 60+ bushel dry land wheat there. Overall, the wheat in that area is much better than in Baca county he said.

“The wheat around the Springfield, Pritchett and Walsh areas looks good overall, but is showing signs of stress and needs a drink,” Thompson said. “It rained some last night and is drizzling right now and should the whole day so that will help a lot.”

To learn more about Skyland Grain, visit their website.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Ag Partners Coop

Wakefield, Chapman, Kansas: Chance Remington, Seed Lead

When talking about fungicide programs, Remington said he will be running 13.7 oz. of Trivapro, 1 gallon of Gradual N, and 6oz. of Max N Copper for the top-tier flag leaf program. He says this will protect the wheat from disease while improving plant health. The nitrogen and copper will improve test weight and help capture maximum yield.

Seneca, Kansas: Kevin Bergman, Seed Lead

Bergman said he hasn’t seen many diseases yet in his area. They are finishing up some applications of Topguard fungicide with the intent to follow it with a flag leaf application.

Mid Kansas Cooperative (MKC)

McPherson County, Kansas: Jared Jones, Agronomist

Jones said a lot of the wheat is in Feekes 8.0 growth stage. The flag leaf is now visible and will probably be completely emerged within the next seven days.

He’s still not finding a lot of disease pressure but with the rain and wet weather, he believes we are setting up to see some rust pressure – especially with the several reports in southern Kansas of rust showing up.

Jones said the timing of a fungicide can be difficult. Usually, the best results come from those planned applications where the question isn’t whether or not you are going to apply a fungicide, but when you are going to pull the trigger on that planned application.

With leaf rust looking like more of a threat this year in Kansas, he said it will be important to use a fungicide with a long residual to protect you all the way through the critical period, as leaf rust can hold on longer into the season with its ability to thrive in warmer environments.

Sumner, Reno, Sedgwick and Harper Counties, Kansas: Willie Swartz, Agronomist

Wheat in Reno county is at the flag leaf stage or will be in the coming days, reported Swartz. There is currently no disease showing up in his area that he has scouted.

He has gone over fungicide plans with growers and some are still planning on applying it when the weather allows. He says the wind and forecasted rain make it difficult to plan.

Swartz reported there seems to be a larger group of growers this year who have decided not to spend any more money on the wheat crop because of the market price or wheat conditions.

He said their goal at MKC is to help their growers be successful. It is always key to remind them they have spent roughly $200 an acre at this point, they should make sure to finish strong and protect their investment and spending. Roughly 15 dollars an acre for a fungicide might do that.  Every situation is different and unique so a broad stroke doesn’t cover everyone.

Marion County, Kansas: Brandon Schrag, Agronomist

Schrag said is his area, they are seeing some fields with flag leaf emergence as well as some fields that are about a week out from flag leaf emergence.  Yield potential varies dramatically from field to field in his area.

He has not seen any disease show up yet.  The fields with the greatest yield potential in his area were treated with a fungicide at green up and show no signs of disease currently.

The condition of the wheat crop in some fields is poor, and he said he will not be recommending a fungicide application this year for those fields.  Economically it doesn’t make sense with the yield potential they have in some fields.

Cooperative Grain and Supply

Hillsboro, Kansas: Jeff Naysmith, Agronomist

Naysmith said the earlier planted wheat in his area has the flag leaf emerging now.

He has not seen much disease present but has heard of the rust reports in Kansas. He expects stripe rust and leaf rust to ramp up soon, especially if the rainfall and south wind show up. There’s also a chance of seeing more tan spot if we get into a warmer/wetter pattern.

Naysmith said they are encouraging producers to consider a fungicide application on wheat that has decent yield potential.

Skyland Grain

Southeast Colorado: Quayde Thompson, Agronomist

Thompson said the majority of the wheat in his area is in joint stage and starting to have some flag leaf. However, he has seen several fields that are still in a filleting stage.

He says the wheat in southeast Colorado/southwest Kansas is the best he’s seen it look in a long time.

As for a fungicide program, when or if rust shows up and depending on which part of the county it’s in will determine which farmers spend the money to spray it again.

Thompson says a lot of his dryland guys won’t spray, but when they do, he recommends monsoon at 4 oz., and if they want residual, he said Quilt Excel at 7 oz. is their best option.

Tuesday, April 24, 2019

Ag Partners

Pottawatomie County, Kansas: Ryan Petersen, Agronomist

Petersen said wheat in his territory (southern Pottawatomie County) is in the late tillering stage and leaf sheaths are becoming stronger.  There are a few fields where the first node is visible.

Wheat has progressed nicely and is growing rapidly with adequate temperatures and good soil moisture.  Top dress applications and spring chemical applications should be on by now as the spraying window is closing if adding a growth regulator herbicide to the mix.

Petersen said he is not seeing any disease as of now but will continue to scout.

Mid Kansas Cooperative (MKC)

McPherson County, Kansas: Jared Jones, Agronomist

Jones said the wheat is a mixed bag this year. Some of it looks great and some of it has ended up being destroyed with intentions to plant a row crop this spring. The good wheat was planted a little on the earlier side last fall and had time to get established before the flooding rains came in October.

Most of the bigger wheat in his area is around Feekes 7 – Feekes 8. Some of the later, smaller wheat is just now reaching the joint stage, Feekes 6. He said we should be seeing flag leaves coming out in the next week to 10 days.

“This may sound crazy, but some of the bigger wheat could actually

Wheat field in northeastern McPherson County. Photo from Jared Jones.

use some rainfall at this point to keep it going, it is pulling a lot of moisture with these warmer temps,” Jones said.

If weeds are present in your fields, Jones said there are still some herbicide options that can be applied up to the flag leaf stage. He has been mainly using Quelex, a herbicide from Corteva, to clean up his fields this past week. He says he has heard reports of rust but has not found any at this time.

“Fungicide applications are right around the corner. Once the flag leaves are present it will be time to pull the trigger on those applications to protect the flag leaf,” Jones said. “A large majority of the yield comes from the flag leaf so protecting it and keeping it free of rust and disease is a key component of high yields.”

Sumner, Reno, Sedgwick and Harper Counties, Kansas: Willie Swartz, Agronomist

Swartz said that across the countryside you can really see the difference in management this year from herbicide applications to when nitrogen was applied.
He said, generally speaking, the wheat is his area ranges between flag leaf emergence and 7 days from flag leaf emergence.
Visually there is more weed pressure, mainly because of a herbicide not getting applied because of economics, weather, etc this year, he said.

He recommends looking at a flag leaf fungicide option. The cool weather we have had for a few days, the dews we have had in the morning, plus the wind are all signs that lead to rust spores developing and getting blown in.

“Rust will be developing on the leaf for 7 to 10 days before it becomes visual and takes yield.  When it comes to fungicide applications, a proactive approach leads to a greater ROI,” Swartz said. “May is our most critical time for wheat development and want to make sure we can do everything in our power to protect our investment.”

Cooperative Grain and Supply

Hillsboro, Kansas: Jeff Naysmith, Agronomist

Naysmith said a lot of the late planted wheat in his area is small, but starting to take off. He said there are a lot of fields with drownouts.

They are finishing up on herbicide and top dress applications on late wheat. For the better-looking wheat, they are starting to talk about fungicide applications at flag leaf.

He said they are in between wheat stages right now.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Midway Co-op

Northcentral Kansas: Jeff Hammer, Agronomist

Hammer reported to us the wheat in north-central Kansas is around the Feekes 4-5 range. He’s not been able to find any first node wheat yet but says there could possibly be an early planted field or two at 5.5.

Wheat has great color in that area. They have some stand issues where there are some drown-out areas. If it wasn’t planted early (Sept) and went in after the 2 weeks of rain in October, all the late wheat looks to be about the same stage.

Hammer says there’s plenty of winter annual weed pressure in the field. He’s seeing Buckwheat popping up, and the mustards are plentiful. He hasn’t scouted any overwintered rust, and there are no other diseases that are concerning.

Hammer says, “watching the disease progression south to north is always interesting. We can usually budget some type of flag leaf fungicide application and many generics are effective. I am still a fan of using multiple modes of action to slow resistance in diseases. Many products have 3 MOA’s and growers can get creative with mixing generics with branded new chemistries.”

Ag Partners Coop

Northeast Kansas: Ryan Geirhan, Agronomist; Chance Remington, Agronomist

Geirhan and Remington say in their areas of Chapman and Wakefield, there’s a lot of prevented planting wheat acres after last fall.

As for weed management, they say it is late enough in the season, they are putting 2,4-D with their programs as they are already seeing quite a bit of Marestail (Horseweed) and Henbit. They are recommending Quelex, Finesse, Olympus or Affinity Broadspec. They say a few of these products can be used as a split application to get a fuller rate for better control.