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Eastern North Dakota Spring Wheat Yields May Surprise

THOMPSON, N.D. — As combines start rolling in eastern North Dakota winter wheat fields, Nick Shores thinks farmers might be pleasantly surprised.

“I would say we’re probably average, maybe a touch better,” he said. “I think once people start to get their combines rolling, they may be surprised with some of the numbers that come across their yield monitor. Geography dependent, but I think it should be eye opening for some.”

Shores is the regional commercial manager with Limagrain Cereal Seeds. Standing in hard red spring wheat field on Aug. 9, Shores said disease and pest issues have been minimal throughout the season.

“Maybe a few hoppers here and there, but other than that pretty quiet,” he said.

As of the Aug. 7 Crop Progress report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 43% of North Dakota’s spring wheat was in good or excellent condition, 35% was considered fair, 17% poor and 5% very poor. The report showed 2% of the state’s spring wheat had been harvested, a little below the five-year average for the date of 7%.

The spring wheat variety Shores was showing off — LCS Trigger — was developed and released by Limagrain in 2016, and he said it’s been among top yield producers in North Dakota. Trigger was among a few hundred varieties planted at Thompson, representing Limagrain varieties, as well as competitor varieties. The Thompson site is one of 12 Limagrain uses to test for yield and observation throughout the northern Plains.

The LCS Trigger was planted May 15 after some delay due to weather.

“It was a little touch and go for awhile,” Shores said. But once the window opened for planting, he said the wheat went in quickly.

High temperatures and lack of moisture throughout the growing season were among the difficulties the crop has faced. Grand Forks County, where Thompson is located, is considered mostly abnormally dry with a touch of moderate drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. But Shores thinks some areas have received adequate moisture through spotty showers to get up to — or maybe even above — average.

He expected the field he was in to be harvested within a week or two, putting harvest squarely in mid-August.

“I think they’ll be rolling here shortly,” he said.

Meanwhile, many Limagrain locations will be gearing up for winter wheat planting. Shores said winter wheat yields were “average to a touch better than average” in the area in 2023.

Source : AGWeek