High Plains wheat appears to be in pretty good condition in spite of a lot of factors that challenge the crop.
Roller-coaster variations in temperatures, an ongoing drought, and a shortage of preferred varieties, could have set back the crop but most Texas High Plains wheat is in fair to good condition, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.
“Late freezes in the spring of 2013 and other weather conditions limited the amount of available seed produced of preferred varieties, particularly AgriLife Extension’s ‘Pick’ varieties,” said Dr. Calvin Trostle, AgriLife Extension agronomist in Lubbock.
“Those Pick varieties were sometimes spread over more acres at a slightly reduced seeding rate,” Trostle said. “But management keys like suitable planting date, irrigation and timely top-dress nitrogen applications in late winter 2014 will help compensate for lack of availability of preferred wheats.”
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Though there were some crops other than wheat planted in place of the preferred varieties, by far, most farmers turned to alternative wheat varieties: those shown by AgriLife Extension and Texas A&M AgriLife Research variety trials as possibly not performing as well on irrigated or dryland acres as the Pick varieties, he said.