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Nebraska wheat crop report lists impact of recent moisture

(USDA NASS)

According to the USDA NASS crop report for the week ending May 7, 2017, temperatures averaged one to two degrees below normal. Rainfall was limited to half an inch or less across most of the state. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 3 percent very short, 8 short, 81 adequate, and 8 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 6 percent very short, 12 short, 76 adequate and 6 surplus. Winter wheat condition rated 2 percent very poor, 15 poor, 47 fair, 31 good and 5 excellent. Winter wheat jointed was 77 percent, near last year’s 80 percent, but ahead of the 58 average. Headed wheat was 1 percent, behind both last year’s and the average 9 percent.

Producers in South Central Nebraska received some needed moisture. In the more southern parts of the region along the Kansas border, producers reported some fields showing bent or broken stems and damage from heavy snows; many were still evaluating their fields to see if lodged wheat would stand back up again.

In the Northern Panhandle, producers said the region received rain ranging from 0.4 to 1 inch. The stage of growth across the region varies from tillering to flag leaf, depending on variety and planting date. Producers reported that recent freezes resulted in mostly cosmetic damage, if any to the wheat. Some tan spot and Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus (WSMV) have been found in the area. While damage from WSMV isn’t widespread in the region, producers report some infected fields are starting to show stress.

Rain also fell in the southern Panhandle in amounts ranging from .5 to 1.5 inches. Conditions in the western part of the region remain good producers said. Minimal rust had been found in the area, and no extensive freeze damage was apparent in the wheat. However, producers in the eastern part of the region expressed concerns over extensive damage from WSMV. The damage producers reported was extensive enough that some fields may not head. Some producers have already visited with crop adjustors to release acres with WSMV infected wheat. Conversations with plant pathologists in the state indicated that the mild weather throughout both the fall and winter contributed to the spread of the mites and favorable conditions for the disease.

Southwest Nebraska producers reported receiving as much as 2 inches of rain in some areas, however, total precipitation received varied across the region.

Fields across the region was starting to head. Producers were finding more leaf rust in fields in the southern part of the region. However, producers across the entire region said they remain vigilant as recent weather conditions may contribute to spread of diseases in wheat. Some WSMV had been found in parts of the region as well. Overall producers said wheat conditions remained good. Wheat that received large amounts of snowfall in the last week were still being evaluated for damage. Producers said some fields showed signs of lodged wheat standing back up, but some fields still showed 50 percent or more broken stems that wouldn’t recover.

In Southeastern Nebraska, producers said rainfall was spotty and varied by region. Some parts received no moisture while others received over an inch. Producers said most fields are in the late boot to early heading stage. A little stripe rust has been seen, but producers said the disease level currently rated lower than at this point in more recent years.

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