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Winter Wheat in Wellington

What I've seen over the past couple weeks

The snow disappearing fast, accompanied with several days of warm weather has lead to some good greening-up across the countryside. There doesn't seem to be much winterkill, I haven't seen anything significant. Stands are looking pretty comparable to what they were going into winter. Field conditions have been drier this spring, and therefore suitable for traffic, so many have already gotten a shot of nitrogen and sulfur.

If you haven't applied fertilizer yet, and are planning putting all of your nitrogen down now, in one pass, it may be worth adding a nitrogen stabilizer to protect from potential losses over the next month. It is still on the early side and the crop still isn't taking up much nutrients.

There does seem to be more snow mould in fields this year. While the snow cover we had protected the wheat from the elements, it is also conducive to this disease. Earlier planted wheat, with more top growth is more susceptible. Affected plants will be brown and rotted, and some may be slimy. Snow mould can affect individual plants or show up in patches. While there more than normal this year, from what I have seen, snow mould has not significantly impacted the winter wheat crop and the weather we are experiencing now should put a stop to it. We are also seeing a bit of Septoria on the earlier side planted thick wheat as well. WE will continue to monitor this as the canopy develops.

As for weeds, I'll be honest, the fields I've been in have been very clean. Many producers are using fall herbicides to control resistant Canada Fleabane and other winter annuals ahead of wheat seeding. BUT, I know that those winter annuals are off to a great start where there hasn't been weed control. It is still too early/too cold to be applying herbicides, just keep in mind that a good winter for the wheat is a good winter for the weeds. Keep an eye on the forecast, because it will be time to start spraying before we know it.

We will be starting to scout fields sooner this year as a result of the early start to the season.

Alyssa Gingras

April 5, 2021

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