As we begin harvest across the state, we wanted to provide some reminders about diseases that may affect either grain quality or the viability of grain that is destined to be saved for seed.
Seed quality can be impacted by certain diseases that were prevalent during the growing season. Producers should take certain steps when sowing lower quality wheat to help achieve a good stand.
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.