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Northern Illinois Agriculture

University of Illinois Extension
2013 Small grains meeting

Small Grains program a success

Posted by Russel Higgins -

It was a great evening for the Northern Illinois Small Grains Program on Thursday. Farmers attending the meeting, co-sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension, Illinois Wheat Association and the USDA Risk Management Association had the opportunity to tour variety trials and breeding programs of winter wheat and oats at the NIARC. At the early evening program Emerson Nafziger shared that the wheat crop looks to be in good shape, but yield expectations are below that of last year, primarily due to the lack of tillering in the 2012-2013 crop. We do not have the density of grain heads that are needed for higher yields. Carl Bradley pointed out several disease issues within the variety trials, including Fusarium Head Blight (Head Scab) and Stripe Rust. He reminded producers of the optimum time to spray fungicides for Head scab, (Feekes 10.5.1 -beginning of flowering) and that a fungicide application did not  guarantee 100% control of this disease. Fred Kolb, small grains plant breeder at the University of Illinois shared what he targets in his breeding programs for both wheat and oats. The oat crop in northern Illinois looks very good at the NIARC despite the comparative late planting date of this years crop (May 1st). Final yield will depend on several additional timely rains and the avoidance of extremely warm weather that blasted the 2012 oat crop.

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