Harvest Around the Corner

Wheat and canola crops are starting to wind down. The majority of the canola fields have lost their flowers, which in return, we as farmers need to make sure we will be harvesting canola at the optimum time for the highest yield potential. The seed color change or (ripening), on the main stem needs to have 40-60% color change. From the bottom pods being black/brownish in color and the top pods being green but not mushy. We know some fields will not be harvested, so there are different ways we can address this situation either through burn down application or cultivation.

We have a few fields of Milo going in from El Reno to Okeene. If you are interested in any summer crops, please call one of our agronomy salesmen which can be found under the agronomist tab of the website. We will be glad to help you with any needs you may have.

The Dilemma of the 2014 Crop

Our wheat farmers have taken a double-whammy this year due to freezing temperatures and drought. With the unforgiving drought already sapping soil moisture across the north central region, combined with the polar vortex that covered our fields in a deep freeze, have left our farmers disheartened as they fear the land they have toiled will be unpromising.

We are seeing freeze damage throughout the majority of Kingfisher County as it was the area with the longest duration of freezing temperatures. Some fields display minor to no freeze damage; these fields comprise of wheat that is already headed or at boot stage. Greater damaging regions are in the low-lying draws where cold air tends to drain to and be trapped. For those specific higher risk regions, we are seeing approximately 20-60% damage.

There are few fields the freeze has severely injured. Our agronomists have seen significant damage to flag leaf and the head being suspect to freeze damage at stage Feekes 9. The yield potential is uncertain at this time.


Drought stress and freeze damage to a field Northeast of Kingfisher

freeze burn

Damage to flagleaf


Flagleaf is on the left, head is on the right

wheat heads

The head size varies due to freezing temperatures




The cold front and the freezing temperatures that were brought to the northwest area have us worried about the wheat and canola crops. As of right now, the data is not looking good for us. The critical temperature at boot stage for wheat is 28 degrees for a minimum of two hours. If we stay at or below that, we will have a possibility of damage to wheat which in return, could make the plant head go sterile which would result in blank heads.

It is also a concerning factor with how fast the temperature falls. A quicker drop will cause more damage, as water in plant cells freezes. The ice that forms will break the cell walls, causing worse damage. Damage to plant stems could affect the amount of moisture and nutrients that are distributed.

The canola crop, too, suffered damage from the late freeze. What the impact of the late freezes, combined with the prolonged drought, will remain to be seen. It will not be for another five or six days before we see any damages in the canola. As seen in last year’s canola, late freezes did do damage to the canola crop, although we did have moisture to allow it to sucker out. It will be interesting to see how the lack of moisture will affect the upcoming canola crop.

Read the OSU Freeze Update


Got Mites?

We scouted wheat fields and found brown wheat mites. However, it’s not in all the fields; it’s very sporadic.

Today was an interesting day as it started as a sunny, beautiful day. Mother Nature put a twist on things and teased us with what seemed like, a promising break in the clouds. Jared and I were in Omega spraying foliar nutrient test plots when the sky opened, spit on us and abruptly left. We got a few neat pictures in the process though. After finishing the plots, we scouted wheat fields and found brown wheat mites. However, it’s not in all the fields; it’s very sporadic. Some fields we found have a higher pressure in bird cherry oat aphids and others, a higher pressure in wheat mites. We encourage you to be out checking your fields for these critters.


Field Day Success

We had a successful field day at the Winfield/CHS Answer Plot on Wednesday. The turn-out was great as we had about 25 farmers attend and followed up with a great lunch at Sniders. We had several knowledgeable speakers from our agronomy team here at Plains Partners as well as speakers with Winfield Solutions. Our goal was for our farmers to take home the solution behind the plant data and put that data toward their operation to maximize their yields and profit.

Some of the main focal points we concentrated on were the differences in wheat varieties when using low and high rates of nitrogen with Ascend (growth regulator) and no Ascend. We also looked at our seed treatment (Warden Cereals), which is an insecticide/fungicide that provides early season protection of seedlings against injury by insects and diseases.

In the Warden Cereals plot, we added Ascend, Zinc and also a micronutrient package. As we added each chemical to the plant, it was obvious how much more the plant had enhanced from the untreated check.

In the canola, we discussed the different varieties in the plot. We compared the differences in low and high rates of nitrogen which also determined the winter hardiness of the plant. We found that by using a higher rate of Nitrogen, more plants survived the winter which in turn, will give you a higher yield.

We also looked at the seed population in canola ranging from 200,000-600,000 seeds which would be 2-6 pounds/acre depending on variety.

At this time, we need to be scouting for aphids and other insects. We are excited about a new foliar insecticide with extended residual used for aphids coming out called Transform. If you are interested in this product, please contact the agronomy department.

Tim Darst lecturing on canola

Tim Darst lecturing on canola

Jared Yost lecturing on the wheat trials

Jared Yost lecturing on the wheat trials

Farmers walking
2014 Answer Plot

2014 Answer Plot

2014 Answer Plot

2014 Answer Plot


This picture of Clearfield variety AP503 wheat shows the growth difference with the different trials used. The first plant is with Warden Cereals and Ascend. The second plant is Warden Cereals only. The third plant is an untreated check.

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