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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Wheat Harvest Good, but Grain Quality Falls Short

August 26, 2003

WOOSTER, Ohio — Ohio wheat growers have managed to pull off decent yields despite season-ending rains, but the wet weather, coupled with fungal diseases, impacted grain quality — an issue that could become problematic next year if not properly managed. According to the Ohio Agricultural Statistics Service, growers harvested 960,000 acres of soft red winter wheat at an average of 66 bushels per acre. Last year, growers averaged 62 bushels per acre with 810,000 acres. But test weights — a measurement that determines grain quality — were variable, ranging from the high 40s to the high 50s in pounds per bushel. “Some parts of the state had up to 58 to 59 pounds per bushel. The state average in Ohio usually ranges between 58 and 62 pounds per bushel,” said Pat Lipps, an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist. “Some locations, especially in the southern part of the state, had very low test weights — from the high 40s to the mid-50s. When we have test weights in the 51 to 52 pounds per bushel range that indicates quite a few problems with seed pathogens and weathering. Anything lower than 57 pounds per bushel and the elevators will dock for poor grain quality.” Lipps, a researcher with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, Ohio, said that grain quality may come back to haunt growers next season if they don’t properly prepare the seed.

Candace Pollock
Pat Lipps