717wheat day short

By Janet Kubat Willette

WASECA, Minn. — This year looks good for wheat yields.

The spring wheat crop may have gone in a little later than preferred and a lack of snowcover may have caused some winter wheat winterkill, but overall conditions have been favorable, said Doug Holen, University of Minnesota regional Extension educator, at a Third Crop Walk and Talk July 8 at Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca.

"The worst thing for wheat yield is a couple 90-degree days in Minnesota and disease is right behind it," Holen said.


The cool conditions and plenty of early June moisture have given small grains a boost, while corn in many parts of southern Minnesota could use some moisture. A swath across the state’s midsection was labeled abnormally dry in the July 8 Drought Monitor. Scattered thunderstorms brought rain, but also damaging winds and hail last week, with more chances for storms in the forecast this week.

Weather conditions haven’t been favorable for the development of scab or fusarium head blight so far this year, but that may be changing with increasing humidity, cautions Charla Hollingsworth, U of M Extension plant pathologist.

Leaf rust is present in southern and central Minnesota, but there’s little foliar disease in the Valley, Hollingsworth said in her weekly commentary. She doubts rust will be a problem because of the advanced growth stages of the crop.

"It should be a pretty good wheat year," Holen said.

Producers can track wheat diseases at

What To Read Next
Fundraising is underway to move the giant ball of twine from the Highland, Wisconsin, home of creator James Frank Kotera, who died last month at age 75, 44 years after starting the big ball.