For wheat growers, this year´s early spring freeze has made keeping tabs on crop conditions more critical than ever, Kansas State University agronomist Jim Shroyer says.
"Where injured wheat is coming back from secondary or tertiary tillers, producers want to know what kind of yield to expect," Shroyer explains. "This is a difficult question to answer, since it depends primarily on the weather conditions during May and early June."
Producers can use a couple of formulas, however, to make rough yield estimates, Shroyer said. Details about both are available on K- State´s Extension Agronomy Web site: www.agronomy.ksu.edu/pages/extension. (Go to "Latest Agronomy Updates" for May 1.)
Participants on the Wheat Quality Council´s annual Hard Winter Wheat Evaluation Tour, held last week, use the formulas, which are designed for use in estimating yields at this time of year, the agronomist says. But, producers may have to modify the methods to account for the fact that secondary and tertiary tillers have less yield potential than primary tillers.
One method works best for wheat that has yet to head out on most or all tillers, Shroyer says. The other is the suggested method for when wheat has headed out on most or all tillers.