Rains during the past two weeks have resulted in a flush of late, green tillers in the wheat over much of Kansas. This can create a problem, especially for wheat that is approaching harvest maturity. A question that usually arises when this happens is: Should I wait to start harvesting until most of the green heads have matured, or just start harvesting anyway? This question is more relevant this year in south central Kansas, where the wheat is most advanced. In these cases, producers should not delay harvest because of the green tillers. These tillers probably won’t amount to more than 5% or so of the total amount of heads in the field, and won’t add much to the final yield anyway.
Wheat that has been stressed by drought and extreme heat can have seed quality concerns. Drought conditions were prolonged in many areas of Kansas through most of the winter and spring in 2022, causing stress to plants through early grain filling stages. In addition, extreme heat occurred during the four-day period of May 9-12, which coincided with boot, flowering, pollination, and early grain fill stages depending on the area within Kansas.
Beyond the standard germination test, most professional seed testing labs offer an Accelerated Aging (AA) test that will test seed for anticipated emergence vigor. This test is very capable of identifying weak seed lots where there are issues with Fusarium head scab; heating in the bin; or smaller, development-stressed seed.
This World of Weeds feature will discuss this weedy relative of wheat, also know as joint goat grass. Jointed goatgrass is a winter annual that germinates roughly the same time as winter wheat and the rate of development of the two species is similar throughout the growing season. It is native to southern Europe and is thought to have been introduced in Kansas during the 1900s as a contaminant in imported wheat. It can be found in a variety of habitats, including roadsides, rights of ways, and fields throughout much on the United States, including all of Kansas.
Annual Forage (AF) insurance is a rainfall index product similar to Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage Insurance (PRF). Alfalfa and perennial range can be insured under PRF. If you grow annual crops for forage (this includes annual crops used for grazing, haying, grazing/haying, grain/grazing, green chop, grazing/green chop, or silage), AF can be used to help insure against reduced forage yield due to less precipitation than normal during the producer-selected growing season. When rainfall falls below a set amount, a payout is provided.
By early June 2022, more than 60% of soybeans had been planted and less than half of all soybeans had emerged in Kansas (USDA Kansas Crop Progress and Report Condition, 2022). Not only do producers still have more than one-third of the soybean acreage to be planted, but some of the planted acres will need to be replanted after an initial assessment based on potential issues caused by the recent hail and flooding conditions in some areas of the state.
Two common brush species native to Kansas and widely spread across the state are roughleaf dogwood (Cornus drummondii) and smooth sumac (Rhus glabra). Roughleaf dogwood is a shrub that can reach 15 feet in height. Smooth sumac will grow to a height of 5-7 feet. The optimum time to spray both species is between the flower bud stage and early seed production. Be on the lookout for roughleaf dogwood and smooth sumac and implement a control plan if needed.