[row layout=”side-right” padding_bottom=”1rem” ]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.2021 winter wheat harvest at WSU Wilke Research and Extension Farm.[row padding_bottom=”1rem” ]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.[row padding_bottom=”1rem” ]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.[textblock bgcolor=”gray-lightest” ]
|Year||Inches Precip. Sept-March||Soil H20 (Inches)||Winter Wheat Yield (bu/ac)||Spring Wheat Yield (bu/ac)||Spring Canola Yield (lbs/ac)|
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.