Farm Progress

MU wheat trials find yields exceed 100 bushels with intensive management.

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

August 29, 2017

2 Min Read
HIGH HARVEST: Farmers in Missouri once again saw yields of 100-plus bushels of wheat in some fields. Overall, the USDA is expecting the second-highest wheat yield on record, with an average of 67 bushels per acre.

Missouri wheat growers may see the second-highest yields on record in 2017. The USDA has the 2017 winter wheat yield forecast at 67 bushels per acre. However, yield monitors in many fields across the state once again pushed past the 100-bushel-per-acre mark.

Last year was a record-breaking one for wheat growers. The statewide average was 70 bushels. However, many varieties performed close to those levels, if not higher. This year is proving to be very close to a repeat performance.

Early projections
According to the August USDA Missouri Crop Production Report, estimated harvested wheat area is at 510,000 acres, down 11% from the previous year. Production is forecast at 34.2 million bushels, down 14% from 2016.

Still wheat growers are producing higher yields through variety selection.

Test plot results
According to the University of Missouri Variety Testing program, soft red winter wheat plots are also seeing yields well above 100 bushels. At the Warren Hale farm near Martinsburg in central Missouri, the highest yield was 121 bushels per acre with Pioneer 25R46.

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The variety was part of a high-yield wheat trial where Hale managed the plot using intensive production management practices. The average for all varieties at that location was 106 bushels, a good 10 to 20 bushels higher than other locations in the northern region trials.

However, yields were not as impressive for those growers in the southeastern region of Missouri. Below-freezing temperatures occurred on at least two nights in mid-March throughout the area. Freeze damage on some wheat heads was visible and may have decreased yields.

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Still, at the Tom Jennings farm near Morehouse, Mo., the top yield was nearly 112 bushels with USG 3536. Ten varieties had an average yield of above 90 bushels per acre when combining all three southeast locations.

MU researchers also saw some stripe rust on some varieties at Portageville, Mo., which posted the lowest plot average at just 64 bushels.

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The top 10 yielding varieties for each region are available on this page.

Additional MU Variety Testing wheat plot data can be found at varietytesting.missouri.edu.

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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