Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Reward and Risk: By the Numbers to Help Planning for the Remainder of the 2022 Crop Year

Posted by Blythe Howell | April 22, 2022

Spring crops are quickly going into the ground and herbicide applications are being applied to winter wheat, and a lot of difficult decisions are being made during this unprecedented time.  Unprecedented times included input scarcity and record or near record input costs, leading to increased risk for farmers across the region. The commodity market prices of wheat, legumes and canola are also at high unprecedented levels, and this has the potential for reward if growers can capitalize on them.  We need to keep everything in perspective and looking back over the last 10 years can help us with our decision making moving forward.

Winter wheat harvest.2021 winter wheat harvest at WSU Wilke Research and Extension Farm.

At the WSU Wilke Research and Extension Farm 7.0 inches of precipitation have been recorded from September 2021 through March 2022 and is 21% below average. This is the second driest at this point of the crop year over the last 10 years, with only the 2021 crop year being less with only 6.8 inches seven months into the crop year (Table 1). Other crop years that are similar at this stage include 2013 and 2014. Soil moisture is the second lowest and is 12% below the 10-year average. When I look at the average crop yields on these 3 years that are similar, winter wheat averaged 64 bu/acre or 12% below the 10-yr average. Spring wheat and canola averaged 34 bu/acre and 1,032 lbs/acre 0r 13 and 9% below the 10-yr average.

The Wheat Nitrogen Application Calculator and the new Spring Canola Nitrogen Rate Calculator on The WSU Small Grains website are two tools that can help ensure you have adequate nitrogen available for anticipated yields.

Year Inches Precip. Sept-March Soil H20 (Inches) Winter Wheat Yield (bu/ac) Spring Wheat Yield (bu/ac) Spring Canola Yield (lbs/ac)
2021 6.8 8.6 59 21 705
2022 7.0 8.0 ??? ??? ???
2013 7.2 9.8 75 60 1788
2014 7.2 5.6 57 20 602
2019 7.3 9.0 69 48 1278
2012 7.4 8.8 44 1461
2020 7.7 9.7 89 57 1808
2015 9.2 8.3 50 25 479
2018 9.8 11.0 78 40 1022
2016 13.4 10.6 86 48
2017 13.4 9.9 93 30 1055
10-YR AVE 8.9 9.1 73 39 1133

Table 1. Crop year precipitation, soil moisture and correlating winter wheat, spring wheat and spring canola yields over the last 10 years at the WSU Wilke Research and Extension Farm. Data is ranked from lowest to highest on inches precipitation from September 2021-March 2022.


Aaron Esser

For questions or comments, contact Aaron Esser via email at aarons@wsu.edu.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Washington State University