While harvesting in a timely fashion after maturity can reduce your risk of preharvest sprouting, it cannot prevent LMA. Moreover, farmers must be careful not to harvest green wheat. Green kernels tend to cause lower FN due to the presence of alpha-amylase produced during early grain development.
LMA is notoriously inconsistent. Whether or not a particular farm sees low falling numbers due to LMA this year will depend on how far along their wheat crop was in grain filling when the cold temperatures hit. Given the timing of the cold temperatures, LMA susceptible varieties that flowered earlier may be more likely to have low FN. Thus far, we’ve seen some low FN below 250 in susceptible varieties in variety trials from Dusty, Dayton, Horse Heaven Ritzville and Walla Walla. Falling numbers below 300 have also been discovered from the trials in Anatone, Connell, Eureka, Harrington, Lind, and Pullman but these have been between 250 and 300.
The only way we can prevent LMA is by growing cultivars with more genetic resistance. To help farmers choose resistant varieties, we will post falling numbers data from the Washington State Cereal variety trials on the PNW falling numbers website. USDA-ARS and Washington State University scientists have also undertaken a massive LMA testing project to select resistant new cultivars.
Further information can be found on the Grain Quality Resources webpage from Wheat and Small Grains website.
For questions or comments, contact Camille Steber via email at email@example.com or contact Kim Garland-Campbell via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.