Wheat farmers in northern Kansas are in a state of flux when it comes to their wheat crop.
Below freezing temperatures nearly two weeks ago have caused damage to the crop, but it's hard to know the extent of that damage. Farmers may have to make "do-I-keep, or do-I-tear-up" decisions on a field by field basis.
The Barton County Extension Council will offer a free wheat freeze clinic on April 19, beginning at 5 p.m. at the 4-H Grounds, located on Highway 281 between Great Bend and Hoisington.
Dr. Brian Olson, Kansas State University Northwest Area Extension Agronomist, based out of Colby, will be on hand to talk about freeze injury symptoms. Farmers are encouraged to bring wheat plant samples to the event for examination and analysis.
Also, area agricultural economist, Dan O'Brien, will be here. We may discuss some crop insurance issues and economic alternatives.
"We encourage farmers to bring samples from different fields, different planting dates and different varieties," says Rick Snell, Barton County Extension Director and Agricultural Agent. "Also, if you can bring plants with soil intact, some that look good, some that are maybe so-so and some that are suffering and look poorly and damaged from the freeze."
The event will last approximately one-two hours or until all samples are appraised and all questions answered.
Copies of the bulletin, "Spring Freeze Injury to Kansas Wheat", will be available. It is free and has color photos of freeze injury. It is written by Kansas State University agronomists and plant physiologists.