State Wheat Harvest Underway
Haley: "An above average crop — we had very good moisture here in Colorado this spring and some decent winter moisture. We had some issues in some areas in planting moisture last fall but very good moisture since then. The big problem that we've had again for the second year in a row is a really major epidemic of stripe rust but last year it was statewide and devastating and this year the same. I think many producers were a little bit more ready this year with fungicide applications. Most of our acreage is planted to susceptible varieties. My sense is that the damage is going to be less. There is really good wheat all across the Eastern edge of Colorado — from the southeast part of the state which tends to be a lot drier to all the way up to the northeast. I'm hearing a lot of stories about 80-90 bushel wheat."
He says in addition to the stripe rust issue that wheat stem saw flies have been an issue in the northeast part of the state, concentrated up along Highway 14. Though state surveys reveal it is expanding the area in which it is infesting wheat.
Haley says that harvest has really been going strong in the last week or so.