Posted March 8, 2019
From K-State Research and Extension Agronomy eUpdate Issue 735 March 8, 2019
The 2018-2019 Kansas wheat crop is a study in contrast, with essentially two separate crops (Figure 1). About 50% of the Kansas wheat crop was planted in a timely manner and benefited from ample fall moisture. These fields are usually well developed and, with the ample profile moisture, likely have a high yield potential. However, October was extremely wet with all parts of the state recording at least ¾ of an inch more than normal. Parts of south central and central Kansas had between 5 and 11 inches greater than average. This rainfall delayed sowing of the remaining half of the wheat area in the majority of the state, resulting in the slowest sowing pace since 1994 (Figure 2). The delayed sowing resulted in a less-developed crop going into the winter, often with only the first leaf out, which becomes more susceptible to potential winterkill due to less fall tillering and less time to acclimate to cold conditions. Also, the yield of the late sown-crop will depend more on spring-formed tillers, which are typically less productive. Thus, the yield potential of this crop might be compromised, unless conditions during grain filling have below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation.