Lincoln, Neb. —Results of the 2022 UNL Crops Testing Winter Wheat trials are now available in the 2022 Fall Seed Guide. It can be found at cropwatch.unl.edu/varietytest and includes details on yield, protein, test weight, ratings for disease characteristics, location summaries and weather information.
Contacts for individual seed companies are provided to assist farmers in identifying certified seed growers. Trial efforts in winter wheat were led by Drs. Cody Creech, Brian Maust, and Amanda Easterly. Also included in the publication are results summaries of barley and triticale advanced yield trials, conducted by Dr. Katherine Frels, the small grains breeder.
This year’s inaugural cover photo contest winner was Dr. Sandeep Sakhale, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The image features the variety trial plots at Mark Knobel’s farm near Fairbury.
Despite a dry year in 2021, fall emergence of the winter wheat trials across the state was excellent and we experienced very little winterkilling. Early spring green up was also promising across the state, leading to early season predictions that winter wheat yields were going to hold steady.
However, as the drought continued, the conditions deteriorated. In addition, hailstorms affected many parts of the state and trials were lost to hail at Clay, Red Willow/Hitchcock, Gosper, Deuel, and Box Butte Counties.
A late spring freeze during heading also impacted wheat yields, particularly for earlier-heading varieties. In the Panhandle, wheat stem sawfly pressure further impacted yield and performance and resistance to sawfly continues to be a trait that the Crops Testing team monitors in the varieties tested.
Locations for which the data was lost to hail or too severely impacted by the freeze damage has not been published, and we strongly recommend that growers make decisions based on multi-year and multi-location averages.
Furthermore, we encourage growers to diversify their variety selections and obtain seed as quickly as possible. Certified seed growers were impacted by the same difficult conditions and seed inventories are expected to be in short supply.
Lastly, we encourage growers to reach out to local Extension and Industry partners with questions about local growing conditions and optimizing fall planting for the continued drought. Members of the Crops Testing Team can be reached via email with questions regarding the results and interpretation at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Testing would not be possible without the support of our cooperators across the state, who graciously share land to conduct the trials, host field tours, and manage the sites for high quality data. We would also like to thank the Agricultural Research Division, Nebraska Wheat Board, UNL Extension, and the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture.