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Michigan Wheat Program's Latest Issue of Wheat Wisdom May 3, 2017

Posted: May 11, 2017

Michigan Wheat Program Summer Field Day set for June 14 in Lansing

The 2017 wheat harvest isn't far off, and neither is the Michigan Wheat Program’s 2017 Summer Wheat Field Day. This year’s program is set for Wednesday, June 14 at the MSU Plant Pathology Research Center on College Road in Lansing. Wagon tours of wheat research plots are planned, with talks by several MSU wheat researchers. The event begins with registration, coffee and donuts at 8:15 am, as wagons load and head to the field at 9.  The field tours will be followed by lunch and a short program. Attendees will get a map of variety trial performance sites at the Mason farm that can be visited on the way home. The event is free of charge to all Michigan wheat growers.  Registration is requested to ensure adequate hand-outs, lunch and site arrangements. Visit miwheat.org under "What's Hot" in the left margin of the page. CCA and RUP credits will be offered as usual.

Stripe rust:  Scout, scout, scout!
By Dr. Martin Chilvers, Mikaela Breunig, and Martin Nagelkirk, MSU wheat educator

Last season saw unprecedented levels of stripe rust in Michigan, with an estimated yield impact of $15 million dollars.

Stripe rust activity is beginning to pick up in states to our south, and has just been located in two Wisconsin counties. It’s not time to panic, but farmers and scouts should be paying attention to their wheat, particularly those varieties that are considered susceptible.  Click here for a list of wheat varieties and level of stripe rust resistance.

If stripe rust activity picks up and continues in the state, those varieties considered susceptible to moderately susceptible will be most likely to benefit from a fungicide application, and those considered moderately resistant may also see some benefit.
Fungicide application timing needs to coincide with greatest yield loss risk, which depends upon disease pressure and growth stage. An early herbicide-tank mix fungicide will likely have little benefit in minimizing yield loss, as the window of fungicide protection only lasts between two to three weeks.
Last year in the “thumb” and East Lansing, we saw that an application soon after flag leaf emergence to protect the flag offered the most protection, with head scab (flowering) application timings being too late.Thankfully, if stripe rust disease pressure develops and weather conditions remain favorable for disease many fungicide products offer excellent control.  Click here for a fungicide efficacy guide. Stay tuned as the season unfolds.

Wheat acreage down nationally

US wheat production is projected to be 1.9 billion bushels, which marks a return to average or just-above average yields.  The 2016 harvest was 2.3 billion bushels, by comparison.
The reduction is due to both fewer acres planted to wheat, and a slight decrease in yield.  While this helps balance supply and demand, market prices are not expected to increase. That’s largely because the US market is already sitting on a 183-million bushel surplus, as the 2017 harvest begins.

Full Issue Here