Crop Update and Progress: This week I visited several wheat fields around the state and looked through the plots that I have at the Lon Mann Research Station at Marianna. Overall I would say the crop is later than it was last year, which seemed very late. Many fields in central Arkansas are heading this week and fields in south Arkansas generally headed last week and by this time next week most fields in Northeast Arkansas will likely be fully headed. According to the Arkansas Agricultural Statistics Service report, for the week prior to April 28th only 17% of the crop had headed. This compares to 67% for the five year average and 32% last year.
Overall the crop looks okay, but I can tell the last few weeks of rain has taken a toll on it with yellow pockets of wheat from mud holes is more common than it should be. Foliar disease levels have been low with the exception of Septoria leaf blotch, which is common in most fields lower in the canopy, but has moved up the plant in the last week on more susceptible varieties. I found a small hot spot of stripe rust on Wednesday at my plots at Marianna. This was the first reported stripe rust in the state. At this point with most wheat headed, heading or soon to be headed by the end of next week, stripe rust will most likely not have enough time to get well established and be a big issue this year.
Below are some pictures of foliar diseases and other oddities that I saw in my plots at Marianna on Wednesday April 30th. If you have questions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com or call at 501-749-6207