Wheat Article Archive

What Makes Winter Wheat a “Winter Wheat”?

For most of us wheat is wheat; however there is a distinct difference between spring and winter wheat, even though the vegetative characteristics of these two wheat types are very similar. Winter wheat can withstand freezing temperatures for extended periods of time during the early vegetative stage and requires exposure to freezing or near freezing temperature to trigger reproductive stage. In other words, if winter wheat does not go through a period of cold temperatures, then it will not produce seed. Two things needed for winter wheat to perform at optimally and produce good yields are- cold acclimation and vernalization. 

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Managing Wheat Curl Mite

Wheat curl mite is one of the more difficult pests to manage in wheat. This is in part due to the limited options available for preventing populations from infesting a field and rapidly reproducing. Other pests can often be managed through the use of insecticides or miticides. However, due to the wheat curl mite’s small size and tendency to inhabit protected areas of the wheat plant, chemical management is often impractical.

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Is That a Cutworm Caterpillar?

We recently received a very interesting sample that originated from field of wheat stubble. At first glance we thought it may have been a cutworm species, however, there were many characteristics that were missing. There were also some traits present that did not match up with the description of any cutworm species. After some sleuthing, the mystery larva was determined to be that of a crane fly.

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Scouting Winter Wheat for Mite Pests

Winter wheat planting is underway in South Dakota. After wheat emergence, it is important to scout for brown wheat mite and wheat curl mite populations. These mites are capable of reducing wheat yields through direct feeding, and wheat curl mite is also a vector of Wheat streak mosaic virus. Although scouting can be used to successfully manage brown wheat mite populations, wheat curl mites are best managed through pre-planting preventative measures.

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