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1st look at Delmarva’s wheat crop

Diseases were back this season, but fields look good overall.

Chris Torres, Editor, American Agriculturist

June 5, 2024

1 Min Read
Mark Sultenfuss, Nagel Farm Service crop insurance agent
CHECKING HEADS: Mark Sultenfuss, crop insurance agent with Nagel Farm Service, checks out a wheat head with suspected fusarium head scab on a Maryland farm, part of a full day of farm visits across Delaware and Maryland. Chris Torres

Head scab and other diseases have made their way back onto Delmarva wheat fields this spring, but how much that will affect yield remains to be seen.

A group of nearly 30 ag researchers, state officials and wheat crop buyers toured 10 fields across Delaware and Maryland on June 3 as part of a larger tour of mid-Atlantic wheat fields. Final crop yield estimates will be released early next week.

The tour is an opportunity for wheat crop buyers to connect with producers, and to get an early look at the wheat crop across the region. If Monday’s tour is any indication, wheat is further along this year than in the past, and good yields are expected, although it may not yield a bin-busting crop like seen last year on some farms in the region.

Still, that may be good news for recovering basis, which is negative as the region struggles to move old-crop wheat, the result of great yields last year and the purchase of Midwest wheat that was supposed to make up for anticipated crop deficiencies that didn’t materialize.

For a more in-depth look at Delmarva’s wheat crop, check out this video from Monday’s tour:

About the Author(s)

Chris Torres

Editor, American Agriculturist

Chris Torres, editor of American Agriculturist, previously worked at Lancaster Farming, where he started in 2006 as a staff writer and later became regional editor. Torres is a seven-time winner of the Keystone Press Awards, handed out by the Pennsylvania Press Association, and he is a Pennsylvania State University graduate.

Torres says he wants American Agriculturist to be farmers' "go-to product, continuing the legacy and high standard (former American Agriculturist editor) John Vogel has set." Torres succeeds Vogel, who retired after 47 years with Farm Progress and its related publications.

"The news business is a challenging job," Torres says. "It makes you think outside your small box, and you have to formulate what the reader wants to see from the overall product. It's rewarding to see a nice product in the end."

Torres' family is based in Lebanon County, Pa. His wife grew up on a small farm in Berks County, Pa., where they raised corn, soybeans, feeder cattle and more. Torres and his wife are parents to three young boys.

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