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David Sparks Ph.d Snow Mold
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: March 14, 2017

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This past winter, U.S. growers reduced planting across all three classes of winter wheat. With winter wheat acres in your region at historic lows, it is critical for growers to accurately evaluate their winter wheat stand to make the most informed mid-season decisions.

As winter wheat comes out of dormancy, wheat growers can depend on Tim Watts, Regional Commercial Manager for Washington for the best tips to determine plant health and winter wheat stand. Tim has advice that can help growers test for winterkill. But there is one issue that has him particularly concerned.


Winter wheat is beginning to come out of dormancy, and the biggest concern on Washington growers’ minds is winter survival. Between growers who planted too early, resulting in too much growth too quickly, to growers who planted later and were met with little to no precipitation, there are a lot of fields right now that may have stand issues.  How do growers make the decision on whether to replant or power through the season?


"I would be more concerned about snow mold, frankly, then I would winter kill. The winter that we have had in the Pacific Northwest being that we have had snow on the ground for, in some cases, up to 90 days almost so I would be more concerned about that. Usually when we see the big winter kill, it's because they get really cold without snow cover to help insulate those plants.

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