Fast Maturing Grain

Post date: Feb 4, 2013 2:08:48 PM

This has been an unusual year and it is becoming evident in our small grain crops. The fall was one of the driest ever on record and most of the grain was up but not growing and looked almost dead in December - then it rained. The rains we got around Christmas and then the first of January was just what the crop needed and it started growing. But, we went from rain to unusually warm temperatures at night and the crop switched from vegetative growth producing good tillers to reproductive. In almost all fields I go to there is the first node visible at ground level and in some cases we are at boot with heads exposed. The photo at left is of triticale that has headed out in a large field. There were just a few spots like this but the rest of the field was at hollow stem with heads close to emerging. What does this mean for grain or forage production. Well they will both be light. Most of the crop is short and since it is now heading it wont grow much more. Any tillers produced now wont make grain and they wont grow much since energy is going to grain production. So, sadly it looks like we wont have much of small grain crop in this very unusual year.