NDSU Extension Service - Mercer County

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Winter Wheat

winter wheat, Decade, wheat streak mosaic virus

Submitted by Craig Askim, Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources

Decade, a joint North Dakota/Montana winter wheat release, was the highest grain yielder of the 2013 Dickinson Research Extension Center winter wheat re-crop trial results for the current year as well for the two year average. The three year average performance of Decade ranked this variety second following SY Wolf. Decade protein was about average while the test weight was better than average. Overland, a Nebraska release was the highest yielder at the Dickinson Research Extension Center last year, ranking second for the two year average. Overland had very good test weight and near average protein. Winter hardiness of Overland is lower than Decade but under no-till conditions with adequate residue from the previous crop Overland winter hardiness has been adequate for southwestern North Dakota.

Dickinson has lost trials in the past due to winter kill, wheat streak mosaic virus, desiccation, grasshoppers, etc. They experience many of the same problems producers have. Fortunately, in the southwest part of the state if one location loses the trial, the other location usually provides data.

Winter wheat is not an insurable crop for winter kill in North Dakota. It can only be insured after an inspection by the agent in the spring to verify a sufficient stand is present to be insured as spring wheat. Planting dates have not been established by Risk Management Agency. One question comes to mind, “Is October 15 too late to seed winter wheat in southwest ND?”

Another issue related to winter wheat is wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV). This past growing season there were very few reports of WSMV in winter wheat. Although WSMV incidents were low we cannot abandon good management practices that reduce the risk of WSMV, especially not this year. The silver lining from dry conditions late last summer and on into the fall is that Mother Nature enforced a break in the green bridge the 17 to 21 days before winter wheat emerged.

Several factors favor WSMV transmission this year with an increased risk of infection and severity of the disease. These factors are 1) many recently harvested wheat fields are green or will be green shortly with volunteer wheat and grassy weeds, 2) there are still a few late seeded green spring wheat fields, 3) increased acreage of corn planted this year and these fields are still green, 4) host plants in pastures, range, and ditches are still green and growing, and 5) winter wheat plantings are likely to increase since producers want to seed something on prevented plant acres.

Since insecticides are ineffective in controlling wheat curl mites that transmit WSMV and fungicides don’t work in controlling viral diseases such as WSMV, winter wheat growers need to use management practices such as sanitation and time planting to avoid disease transmission. For more information on winter wheat visit: http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/varietytrials/winter-wheat.

Source: Roger Ashley – NDSU Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems DREC

Until next time!

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