WOOSTER, Ohio — A cool spring and low disease levels have set the stage for potential record-breaking wheat yields in Ohio.
Pat Lipps, an Ohio State University plant pathologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, said that with wheat harvest now completed, some growers are reporting yield averages of over 100 bushels per acre. Preliminary Ohio wheat performance test results indicate that over the five locations where varieties were evaluated, the average yield was clocking in at 90 bushels per acre.
"I think our previous state average record yield was 72 bushels per acre, and that was in 2000," said Lipps. "I think we will be pretty close to that number this year."
Lipps said that lack of disease, such as Stagonospora leaf blotch and Fusarium head scab, was the biggest contributing factor to the state's yield potential.
"Head scab was very low this year. Overall level of scab in the state was an amazing 0.6 percent incidence," said Lipps. "Of the 124 fields that were evaluated, 83.9 percent had less than one percent of scab. And that's just exceptional."
The non-issue of head scab has paved the way for good grain quality, with test weights ranging anywhere from 58 pounds per bushel to 62 pounds per bushel. High test weights are important in the milling industry.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 810,000 acres of wheat was planted in Ohio this year, down 80,000 acres from the previous year. State average yields are predicted at 68 bushels per acre.