Good year for wheat

Two small combines harvest wheat plots at UK's Spindletop Research Farm.

PHOTO: Matt Barton, UK Agricultural Communications
Lexington, Ky.

The 2016 wheat growing season was nearly picture perfect for most Kentucky producers. As a result, farmers are reporting good yields across the state now that harvest is complete.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service said the overall average yield for the state’s wheat growers was 74 bushels per acre.

Carrie Knott, University of Kentucky grain crops extension specialist, said planting conditions last fall started the growing season off right.

“Last fall, we had timely planting, good soil conditions and good soil moisture,” said Knott, a faculty member in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “Most of the wheat tillered in the fall, which increased the chances for good yields at harvest time.”

As the growing season went on, Kentucky farmers got another boost from a cool spring that helped extend the grain fill period, she said. Some of her small plot studies at the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton averaged 160 bushels per acre.

Chad Lee, UK grain crops extension specialist in Lexington, is also receiving good reports from Kentucky growers.

“I’m hearing reports of 90 to 100 bushels per acre as a farm average. Usually, farmers will have one or two fields that average more than a 100 bushels per acre but not the entire farm, so this is really good,” he said.

Both said instances of Fusarium head blight and the related levels of the fungal toxin deoxynivalenol, also known as DON, have been low throughout the state.

Contact: 

Carrie Knott, 270-365-7541, ext. 248; Chad Lee, 859-257-3203

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