Khaled Bali, farm advisor in Imperial Valley, reported on April 19th: "Desert Durum wheat is currently grown on approximately 90,000 acres in the Imperial Valley (approximately 20% increase in acreages as compared to last year). Wheat harvest is expected to begin in mid-May and to continue through mid-June. The weather has been good for wheat production this year and the current temperature in the 90 degree plus range is helping in kernel ripening and drying, the color is transitioning from green to beautiful gold."
Kent Brittan, who covers Yolo, Solano and Sacramento Counties, conducts variety trials in four locations in the region. He published a newsletter on April 20, including the following comments:
"Wheat Crop Conditions. Overall crop is in much better condition since the rains started in late December. We still have lost some fields from drought after emergence. Many fields have stands of mixed maturities and wholes making for parts of the field heading and other parts still in boot. I expect this to even out some as the crop matures and starts to dry. Stripper headers will have a more difficult time harvesting from some of this unevenness. Watch your soil moisture until the milk stage to avoid pinched grain and low bushel weights.
Disease Update: Stripe Rust is active in Redwing, WB-Cristallo, Joaquin, Sonora, and Wilt Wolkoring. I have also seen some in all the Triticale varieties in my trials. Good adult plant resistance in the triticale, but you still need to monitor these fields. A few Redwing fields are being treated. Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus is heavier than I have seen in the past seasons with Patwin being especially susceptible. I have several Patwin fields that are showing symptoms in 75 to 85% of the plants. No treatment possible, see disease cycle in guidelines. Powdery Mildew can be found low down in most fields with a few (Summit 515 and Cal Rojo) fields with white mildew colonies up into the heads. Hot weather will help here. Protect the flag leaf if necessary. Septoria is evident in most fields low in the canopy. We should make it to harvest without losses this year.
Looks like good, warm grain development weather. If you have Summit 515 or Blanca Grande 515, please remember to check falling numbers as you start to harvest. If below 300, wait to harvest two weeks and try again. If below 250 it probably won't make 300."
Come to the Small Grains Field Days in May - See our website for details • May 1 - Tulare/Kings • May 9 - UC Davis
Parsons Family Scholarship Awarded
The first scholarship, created in memory of John Joaquin Parsons, a long time farmer from Ducor, CA, was awarded recently to Gerald Bogard of San Luis Obispo. The $1,500 scholarship was awarded by the Parsons family based on a written essay, two letters of recommendation, a completed application, and an interview. The California Grain Foundation helped manage the process for the family.
In relaying their decision to the Foundation, the family said, "We were very pleased to see such strong applications for the scholarship. California's agriculture industry needs individuals with courage, skills and a strong work ethic to farm our productive land. Gerald best filled our vision for this memorial scholarship and we will continue to help, in this small way, to encourage young students to enter the production agriculture field."
Japanese Milling Executives to Visit CA
A team of milling executives will be visiting Northern California next week to meet with representatives of the California wheat industry and learn about the excellent quality of our wheat. Led by US Wheat Japan Country Director Charlie Utsunomiya, the group will also visit Washington, DC and Portland, OR. In California, they will focus on wheat research and variety development, grain handling and marketing, and receive an update on durum production.