Reporting From the Wheat Field in Pasquotank County

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This webpage will be one place that you can find information about the wheat crop in Pasquotank and around the region.

Image of man in field

Austin Brown, Extension Agent of Camden County, evaluating plots at the 2018 Northeast Ag Expo Small Grains Field Day site with Cherry Hill Farms

December 13, 2019

The 2019-2020 wheat crop is underway. Fields that got planted from mid-October to the first of November in most cases look very good unless a big rain occurred immediately after planting. With the cold rainy weather after the first of November, that wheat was slow to come up (3 plus weeks) and was more likely to have thin stands or bald spots.

An increasing number of people are using pre-emergence herbicides, especially to control ryegrass. With the pre-emergence herbicides that provide control of annual ryegrass, it helps to take some pressure off of the postemergence application for annual ryegrass control. If you have not already assessed the situation with ryegrass (and other weeds), I would be doing so now. One of the factors that contributes to unacceptable postemergence control of annual ryegrass is it being too big.  As we approach early January of 2020, we need to be doing evaluation of tiller numbers.  This lets us know whether we need to be applying a split application of nitrogen to promote tiller development. The most productive tillers are the fall tillers, but if we need to push tiller numbers to get profitable yields, the sooner they are present and growing, the better off we are. Especially with wheat having a long growing season, we need to stay on top of it all the way to harvest. Also, if your wheat is starting to show poor color and/or growth, a good investment could be in tissue samples. Each year we have fields that come up with nutrient deficiencies and in one situation last year, it was sulfur on black soils.

Our wheat variety trial (planted on November 14) in Pasquotank is with Logan Parks, on Florida Road. If you have any questions, please contact me at the Pasquotank Extension Center.

January 6, 2020

Now is the time for evaluating tiller counts and assessing the wheat crop to determine if there are any other yield limiting factors present that need to be/can be addressed. If tiller numbers are not where they should be, which should be at least 50 per square foot (and is not so low that its not worth managing as a cash crop), now is a good time to be applying a split application of nitrogen. The mild temperatures we are currently having will allow the wheat to grow new tillers. When making applications of  nitrogen, it is important to make certain that the appropriate length of time between the nitrogen application and application of the herbicide, Osprey, is allowed  so as to avoid injury. This mild weather could also be having pest problems showing up such as weeds like henbit, chickweed, annual ryegrass, and annual bluegrass, foliar diseases such as powdery mildew, as well as insects such as Hessian flies and aphids. If you have questions, please contact me (252-338-3954).