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Serving: KS

Rust Threat to Wheat Grows With Warm, Wet Weather

Stripe rust, leaf rust both threaten wheat as weather continues mild, wet

The 2012 Hard Red Winter Wheat crop is progressing toward an early harvest as April ends on a warm, wet note.

If farmers manage to miss the hail that is likely from today and tonight's thunderstorm threat -- and the flooding and flash flooding already hitting much of the southeast part of the state -- a promising, if early wheat harvest is in store.

Southern Kansas wheat is almost 100% headed. Cooler weather had been forecast for last week, but the actual temperature readings wound up 10 degrees above the forecasts.

That, along with strong, southerly winds around the storm systems that have moved across Kansas in the last week or so means wheat growers need to remain ever-vigilant for rust showing up. The window of time for applying a fungicide is closing.

Labels for Quilt were changed a couple of years back, resulting in tying final application time to stage of development rather than days to harvest. If wheat is flowering, it is too late to put on fungicide.

According to the calendar, it is April 30 and that's theoretically way too early for flowering.
This year, however, the day on the calendar and the date in the field are weeks apart and many fields, especially in southern Kansas, are either flowering or getting close.

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