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Leaving Wheat Plant Strips during Haying may Help 2018 Crops (07/20/17)

In areas affected by drought, many small grain fields are being put up as hay.

Leaving Wheat Plant Strips during Haying may Help 2018 Crops

In areas affected by drought, many small grain fields are being put up as hay. This leaves hardly any stubble in these fields available to catch snow this coming winter, and if the 2018 begins dry, this may perpetuate crop failure on these fields. Many alfalfa hay producers leave strips of standing alfalfa to catch snow during their last harvest trip. Leaving a narrow strip of standing wheat may accomplish the same goal and help the 2018 crop to get off to a better start. Any wheat that will make grain in the west this year is living almost exclusively on ‘fossil’ water; rainfall that occurred in 2015 and 2016. That water will be gone this year and will need to be replenished in part by snowfall this winter.

Dave Franzen

NDSU Extension Soil Specialist

701-799-2565

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