The most recent drought monitor still shows much of Western South Dakota in varying stages of drought with the worst conditions centered on eastern Meade and Pennington into Haakon and Ziebach counties. As a result, many farmers may find themselves planting winter wheat into dry soils, which poses a number of challenging options that should be considered.
Crop performance testing results are released annually through the activities of SDSU Extension and the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU.
Many wheat fields in South Dakota were cut for hay this year due to drought conditions and the need for hay. In some fields where moisture was adequate or rainfall has occurred, wheat and weeds are growing back. Deciding what to do with this growth presents complex problems.
While scouting wheat last week I observed several fields with small populations of true armyworms. This may seem unimportant as most wheat fields are nearing maturity. However, true armyworms don’t just defoliate leaves.
While scouting wheat fields throughout South Dakota, we have started noticing the presence of bleached heads scattered throughout many different fields. These discolored heads are the result of an infestation of the wheat stem maggot.
Bacterial leaf streak was observed in winter wheat fields scouted in Brookings County. Up to 40% yield loss can occur when severe bacterial leaf streak develops. Severely diseased heads may fail to give any marketable grain.
Recently SDSU Extension held their annual Wheat Walk program on May 25 and June 1, 2017. The Wheat Walk programs brought producers, Industry and SDSU Extension experts out and into wheat fields near Pierre, Wall, and Clark.
Leaf rust was observed in a few winter wheat fields at low levels. Most of the winter wheat is now flowering or past flowering and therefore a fungicide treatment may not be beneficial this time for leaf rust.
SDSU Extension will be hosting a tour of the Small Grain Crop Performance Trials (CPT) located near Ideal, S.D. The tour is set for June 19th at 5:00pm. This event is free and open to public.
Stripe rust continues to be found in several winter wheat fields mainly in areas that have had rainfall in recent days. Some of these fields have severe stripe rust developing. However, since it has been dry with warm temperatures growers are wondering if a fungicide is still necessary.