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Heat Hurts Wheat Yield




Hot weather at a critical time hurt the 2008 Fulton County wheat crop, said Greg LaBarge, county agriculture extension agent.

Reports from the recentlycompleted wheat harvest were in the 75- to 95-bushel-per-acre range. But LaBarge said when the final numbers are tallied, he anticipates yields will be under the county average of 72 to 77 bushels to the acre.

“We had a fairly good crop, but it was not quite what we were expecting,” he said.

The crop survived well through the winter, but during the flowering stage, temperatures were in the 90-degree range. That, he said, hurt yields.

Generally, the wheat crop missed wet-weather problems. There were some places where wheat was damaged by standing water, he said.

Prices for wheat have been all over the board, LaBarge said.

Wheat has been selling for anywhere from $4 to $8 a bushel on the commodity exchanges.

“A lot of wheat got marketed early, when prices were $4 to $5,” he said.

“The past couple of years, prices have been better, and yields have been good as well,” LaBarge said.

The county corn crop “generally looks pretty good.”

Right now the plants are pollinating, a critical time for corn.

While farmers don’t need a heavy rainfall, like the approximately two inches that fell Wednesday, July 2, an inch or so of rain would be helpful.

News about the Fulton County soybean crop is more mixed.

Plants that were saturated by the July 2 rain have grown new root systems and are starting to green up, he said.

“Soybeans like a little drier season,” he said.

However, soybeans could benefi t “from a nice shot of rain.”


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