Repeated freezes in late March to early May affected both producers and wheat variety trials, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Agronomist Calvin Trostle at Lubbock.

“No single issue or time in my career as an agronomist has taught me so much so fast or made me feel I had so much more to learn,” he says. “Yet, in spite of the freezes, there were individual producers who pulled out a fair crop on some acres.”

Similarly, wheat variety trials were a mixed bag, says Clark Neely, AgriLife Extension statewide small grains specialist at College Station. Many of the variety trials were affected by freeze and drought in 2012-2013, yet results varied from location to location.

 

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“We are advising producers to pick multiple varieties to spread out their risk, especially when it comes to maturity groups,” Neely says. “That will spread the harvest window and help to offset potential injury from late freezes or heat and drought later in the growing season.”

The damages that occurred due to freeze and drought affected the ranking of some of the wheat varieties that generally appear higher among the wheat team’s top picks, he says.

“Some of the early-maturing varieties were bumped ‘way down the list because they were hit by the freeze, while later varieties were virtually untouched. This single year of data would have had a significant effect on the overall ranking,” Neely says. “We didn’t want to mislead producers by showing them data that didn’t represent the average.”

Jackie Rudd, Texas A&M AgriLife Research wheat breeder at Amarillo, says while limited data from the High Plains results will be published, “Producers should keep previous results at hand for variety selection decisions for 2013.”