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SD producers get an early start on winter wheat

The executive director of the South Dakota Wheat Commission says producers are planting winter wheat earlier than usual this fall.

USDA says at least 17% of South Dakota’s spring wheat is planted, ahead of last year and the average.

Reid Christopherson says the reason for earlier planting is two-fold. 

“Some producers got wheat in the ground in late August,” says Christopherson. “In visiting with one of those producers, he said he was trying to take advantage of the soil moisture he had while the wheat could get some germination and growth. And I think we’ll see planting continue to be accelerated due to an earlier soybean harvest.”

He says there can be challenges with early planted winter wheat.

“We hope producers have done a good job with that green bridge management and have taken care of any volunteer wheat. Sometimes early seeding can come into harmony with wheat streak mosaic virus. We’ll be watching that as the fall progresses.”

Christopherson says there’s an increased interest in winter wheat this fall compared to previous years though the state’s production has declined over the last decade.

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