K-State Research and Extension wheat specialist Romulo Lollato talks about the condition of the 2021 Kansas wheat crop. Lollato says that spring moisture has made the prospects of a good wheat crop very promising, in part due to approximately 4-6 inches of precipitation received across Kansas since March 12.
“From now until heading is when the crop needs the largest amount of water,” said Lollato adding that wheat in many Kansas fields is just beginning to elongate its stem. “Having this 4-6 inches of water recently received is definitely going to be used in a very efficient way by the winter wheat crop in Kansas.”
Wet conditions last September followed by dry conditions in October created two very different crops in the state — one in which early planted wheat (September) began to emerge and develop in the fall, and another in which emergence took place more slowly due to dry October conditions.
However, Lollato said even the late-emerging wheat seems to be doing well this spring, possibly due to warm soil temperatures during the winter cold spell. The March rains in Kansas helped the crop recover from potential winter injury, as well as helped to put fertilizer into the root zone that can be used by wheat during stem elongation.
“Right now we are hopeful that not much area of winter wheat will be lost due to that potential of winter kill from the February cold spell.