Serving Minnesota and Northern Iowa.

Wheat is the star at small grains plot tour

By Carol Stender

Date Modified: 07/28/2011 7:48 AM

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FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — It could be an interesting year for soybeans.

Early populations of soybean aphids are being seen, said Northwest Research and Outreach Center entomologist Ian MacRae at a small grains plot tour near Fergus Falls on July 11.

"Don't walk away from fields that have been treated," he said. "You may have to treat the field again."

The area from Alexandria to Fergus Falls has had high aphid populations, he said. The aphids that are being seen have overwintered in the area.

"We have all the conditions in west central Minnesota that are favorable to aphid growth," he said. "It's becoming a big pest here."

The Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council has two scouts who travel across northern and central Minnesota scouting fields, said regional Extension educator Doug Holen. Corinne Berdahl visits fields in northern Minnesota and Derek Nelson covers west central Minnesota, he said.

Joachim Wiersma showed a new combine the MWR&PC purchased to harvest yield trials. The German-made combine, with its 5-foot 9-inch header, is a perfect fit for the plot rows, he said.

Wiersma moved to the small grain plots on John and Jill Walkup's farm. Some of the wheat varieties, like AgriPro's SY-Soren, are new, he said. Others, like Knudson, have been around for 10 years.

Some varieties of note are Jenna. The 2009 variety from Agri Pro has good yield potential although it is susceptible to fusarium head blight.

RB07 continues to be a good variety. Wiersma calls it a balanced variety, but it has problems with bacterial leaf streak. It does particularly well in western North Dakota and in South Dakota.

Prosper is a 2011 variety that is a joint release by North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota. It has slightly higher protein and has good yield potential.

Cromwell is another balanced variety, he said. It does decent against scab. Wiersma calls it an under appreciated variety.

Kelby is a 2006 Agri Pro release that has good protein and decent straw strength, he said. They have seen variable yield results for Kelby. It also has poor resistance for bacterial leaf streak.

Blade, a 2007 West Bend variety, has good yield and test weight. It rates a four for scab and has good resistance against leaf rust.

Sabin is a 2009 variety with good yield potential. It does better in the south for yield and has good scab resistance, he said.

An older variety, Marshall, was released in 1982. It has good yield and straw strength but is leaf rust susceptible.

Faller, RB07 and Glenn are high yielding varieties.

New varieties include WB-Mayville and Edge. Both are from Monsanto. Velva is also a 2011 variety.