Hardin County – Wheat harvest date could impact both grain yield and quality. Delaying wheat harvest puts the crop at risk for increased disease, lodging, sprouting, harvest loss, and grain contamination with mycotoxins.
Even though head scab seems to be relatively low across the state this year, delaying wheat harvest could cause increased levels of vomitoxin contamination of grain, particularly if it rains for several days leading up to harvest.
In 2018, OSU evaluated wheat harvested on June 29 (at 12% moisture content) and July 8 (at 14% moisture content). Grain moisture increased between June 29 and July 8 due to 0.58-inch rain between the two dates. When the wheat harvest was delayed until July 8, yield decreased by 9 bushel per acre, test weight decreased by 2.9 pounds per bushel, and vomitoxin level increased by 0.86 parts per million. These reductions in yield and test weight and increase in vomitoxin are likely attributed to the re-wetting of dry grain, showing the importance of the timely wheat harvest.
Article written by Dr. Laura Lindsey and Dr. Pierce Paul, OSU Extension-Ag Crops Team and edited by Mark Badertscher, OSU Extension-Hardin County.