The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Ag

September 21, 2013

History says control volunteer wheat

ENID, Okla. — As I am writing this article, it is raining outside.

With this recent wet weather in much of northwest Oklahoma, volunteer wheat will begin to emerge and grow rapidly. Wet soil conditions may keep producers out of the fields for extended periods of time, making it even more difficult to control volunteer wheat. To protect this year’s wheat crop, the volunteer wheat has to be controlled.

As I learned last year viewing wheat fields in May, the wheat curl mite, which continues its life cycle in volunteer wheat and which vectors wheat streak mosaic virus, can travel at least one-half mile to infect a new stand of wheat. In my 20 years as an area agronomist, I had never seen as much wheat streak as what I witnessed last spring.

This comment was echoed by former Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service area agronomist Dale Fain, who spent 30 years in that position. That is 50 years of wheat production history saying we have to control volunteer wheat.

The most important threat from volunteer wheat is the wheat streak mosaic virus complex. These viral diseases cause stunting and yellow streaking leaves. In most cases, infections can be traced to a nearby field of volunteer wheat, although there are some likely other hosts of the mites that transmit the virus. Other hosts can be corn, millet and many other annual grasses, such as yellow foxtail or even prairie cupgrass.

Volunteer wheat and the other grass hosts harbor the wheat curl mite during the summer months. These tiny, white, cigar-shaped mites are too small to be seen with the naked eye. The mite uses wind currents to move from host to host and can do so for up to one-half mile.

Along with volunteer wheat hosting the wheat curl mite, it also will harbor Hessian flies, which may cause the wheat plant to lodge at harvest; aphids, which could be vectoring barley yellow dwarf; or even chinch bugs, which feed on developing wheat as it emerges.

Last but not least, volunteer wheat uses soil moisture that is a valuable asset for good growth and development of the 2014 harvested wheat crop.

At this point, a producer has two choices to control volunteer wheat. You will need to choose between tillage or herbicide options. Both are good at controlling volunteer wheat.

The send-home message from this article is producers must control volunteer wheat for two weeks to ensure protection from the discussed pests. That does not mean tilling or spraying a herbicide to kill volunteer 14 days before you plant. It means a producer must have the volunteer wheat dead 14 days prior to planting a wheat crop.

If you need some additional thoughts on controlling volunteer wheat, contact your OCES ag educator. They can provide you with additional thoughts and recommendations for volunteer wheat.

Gribble is Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service northwest area agronomist.

1
Text Only
Ag
  • farm - Rick Nelson web.jpg Wheat tour to provide crop information

    Damage to wheat from the recent freeze will depend on growth stages and temperatures. It will take approximately seven to 10 days following a freeze to determine damage.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • FFA logo.jpg Drummond students receive honors

    Several members traveled to Alva for the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Interscholastic Contest.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • farm - garber ffa web.jpg Garber FFA members place in speech contests

    The Ag 1 quiz bowl team placed fourth and qualified for state. On the second day of the event, the animal science quiz bowl team placed second and qualified for state.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Danna Zook cutout web.jpg Producers need to consider cow supplements

    Springtime for many Oklahoma producers often means calving time.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Master Gardener logocmyk.jpg It’s time to dirty hands

    Bees are venturing out to visit the new flowers. Keep a close watch on your garden. Often, helpful pest-destroying insects are out, getting ready to work for you, also. These, and the bees helpfully pollinating flowers, shouldn’t be discouraged by the undiscriminating spraying of insecticides.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • farm - 4H web.jpg 4-H’ers meet with state lawmakers

    Sen. Eddie Fields spoke to the group upon their arrival at the Capitol.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canola tour to have stops in area

    The tour will be held at the canola field of Flying G Farms located 91⁄2 miles west of Orienta on U.S. 412 and then north into the field.

    April 12, 2014

  • farm - Rick Nelson web.jpg Money up front can mean bigger returns later

    Implants are a safe, effective technology that typically offer a 10-to-1 return on investment.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • FFA logo.jpg 9 area students to receive WLC program scholarships

    FFA members will tour our nation’s capital, visit with members of Congress and perform a service learning project within the Washington area, while building friendships with fellow FFA members from across the nation.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • FFA logo.jpg NW Oklahoma FFA members named proficiency finalists

    Three finalists are selected in each of 49 agricultural proficiency award categories. The state winner in each area will be announced April 30 during the 88th State FFA Convention held at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Facebook