Wheat Outlook Good for Much of Nebraska, South Central Area Struggling

By: Megan Johnson Email
By: Megan Johnson Email

It's Nebraska's third largest crop and a $400 million industry in the state. While the outlook for wheat is good in most parts of Nebraska where it's grown, a few areas are struggling.

Even with a decline in planted acres and a harvest likely to be two to four weeks ahead of normal, the Nebraska Wheat Board's executive director says wheat should do well in most of the state.

"Even with all the environmental factors and the crop being so far ahead, we think it'll be a pretty good crop," says Royce Schademan. "It should yield pretty good and be of good quality for the producers."

Ag officials in south central Nebraska say they expect to see low wheat yields this year just because it's been so dry.

"We have fields that might have made 70 bushels two weeks ago in wheat, probably be lucky to make 35 this year and that's all due to moisture, or lack of," says Dewey Lienemann, Webster County Extension Educator.

A few producers in the Webster County area also found that some of their fields turned yellow. Lienemann says they thought the crop would grow out of it, but soon discovered it stems from a sulfur deficiency.

"Most of those fields were heavily fertilized but couldn't use the nitrogen that was there because it was being tied up with a deficiency particularly of sulfur and probably one or two other micro-nutrients," he says.

Lienemann says the deficiency will also lead to decreased yields. He says wheat fields in eastern Nebraska experienced the same problem last year, and says they'll be recommending anyone planting wheat in a soybean field this fall plan to apply extra sulfur.

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