Friday, May 7, 2010

Wild weather and Stripe rust update

Weather is on everyone's mind in the West this week. Winds topped 102 mph on Rattlesnake Mt. in south eastern Washington and numerous reports of winds in the 50 mph range were reported on Monday in the Columbia Basin in Oregon. Snow in the foothills and frost the last two mornings in the valleys would to keep weather on our minds.
While late frosts can damage heads, for the moment cool temperatures are keeping the wheat crop looking good for the first week of May. As cool temperatures linger, we would typically expect to have one hot week in May, and so we know warm temperatures will eventally come, and if rains don't arrive with them, many of the shallow soil areas to run out of soil moisture in a hurry.
Cool temperatures have slowed wheat development may delay stripe rust development on susceptible varieties. Stripe rust was found in the Walla Walla area last week at very low levels, and growers should be scouting their fields to look for infection levels on suspectible varieties.

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