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Texas wheat farmers have mixed planting conditions

Gaylon Morgan, Extension small grains specialist in College Station, said planting conditions have been relatively good for the early-planted wheat in the Central Texas Blacklands because of cooler average temperatures and adequate soil moisture.

However, in the northern Rolling Plains some early-planted wheat is beginning to show signs of moisture stress, he said.

Planting began Sept. 1 in the Central Texas Blacklands and Rolling Plains regions for producers using wheat as a forage crop or dual-purpose wheat. Wheat that will be used for grain has not been planted yet. That will begin in about two weeks depending on moisture conditions, Morgan said.

Brent Bean, Extension agronomist in Amarillo, said about half of the wheat has been planted in the Panhandle.

"We had some rain about three weeks ago that allowed many producers to plant their dryland wheat," he said. "Wheat is now being planted under irrigation following corn harvest. After the next good rain, I am sure more dryland wheat will be planted. Early-planted wheat, however, has had some problems with fall armyworms in this area." Grasshoppers and grubs also have been seen in some fields," Morgan said.

Nearly all wheat is dryland in the Rolling Plains area.

"Although producers are hoping for high yields and good quality crops this year, it is too early to predict," Morgan said. "Last year, harvest went relatively well for most producers, with slightly higher than average yields in Central Texas."

Wheat yields were down in the Panhandle due to the dry spring, Bean said.

Excessive rain near harvest caused some problems with wheat quality. It caused some grain heads to sprout and lowered test weights. This year, producers in the Rolling Plains are beginning to worry about dry weather, Morgan said.

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