South Dakota's winter wheat crop is getting off to a good start.
A recent report showed emergence at 90%, well above the average of 66%, says David Karki, South Dakota State University Extension agronomy field specialist.
Winter wheat planted on oat stubble has excellent ground cover, with most of the plants in the early tillering stage, he reports.
"These fields had plants with 2-3 tillers per plant, which is considered ideal to survive winter weather conditions in our region."
No diseases or pests were noted in the recent field survey. However, winter wheat planted after soybeans in northeast South Dakota were uneven and a little behind in crop development.
Due to variability is soil moisture, fields had plants recently germinated and plants in the 2-3 leaf stage in the same field, Karki says.
This further underlines the importance of a seed bed with good soil moisture as key to the strong establishment of field crops, he says.