Winter Wheat Acres: Up Overall, Down in the Dakotas
Winter wheat was a slightly more popular crop this year than it was in 2012, according to the latest USDA–National Agricultural Statistics Service winter wheat seedings report. Totals are expected to be nearly 41.8 million acres, which is up 1% from 2012. The estimated class acreage breakdowns are: hard red winter, 29.1 million; soft red winter, 9.42 million; and white winter, 3.27 million.
Seeding was initially down in August but caught up to exceed five-year averages by the end of October. USDA attributed the higher number of seeded acres this year to the early row crop harvest and higher prices.
However, growth was not uniform across the country. Farmers in Neb-raska, Oklahoma and Texas planted significantly more acres this year. Large acreage decreases occurred in Colorado, Kansas, Montana and the Dakotas.
South Dakota farmers planted 1.2 million acres, down about 9% from 2012. North Dakota farmers planted 400,000 acres, down from 750,000 acres. Most farmers in North Dakota typically plant spring wheat—many years accounting for 8 million acres or more. University and private analysts have predicted a 56 million- to 58 million-acre crop for 2013.
Globally, increased production signals fewer U.S. wheat exports. That’s left a generous stocks-to-use ratio of 32%.
"Estimates are for 754 million bushels [U.S. ending stocks]," says Louise Gartner of Spectrum Commodities, Beavercreek, Ohio.
New Farm Fuel Budget App
Fuel is a major expense for any wheat farmer and can significantly vary based on alternate crop acreages, tillage systems and crop rotations. John Nowatzki, North Dakota State University Extension service agricultural machine systems specialist, developed an Android app—Farm Fuel Budget—so farmers can more easily compare projected fuel costs.
Users simply input the number of acres they intend to plant by crop, then select field operations they plan to use for each crop. The app then estimates fuel costs.
Users can also select the number of acres allocated to each crop to compare total farm fuel use based on the same number of acres.
"This feature is intended to help crop producers quickly see the difference in fuel consumption on their farm by changing the number of acres allocated to each crop," Nowatzki says.
"Because field operations significantly vary for each type of crop, changing the number of acres of each crop grown impacts the total fuel cost for the farm," he adds.
The app is free and available to download on Android devices at the Google Play Store.
DuPont Unveils New Wheat Fungicide
DuPont has announced it has registration approval from the Environmental Protection Agency for its new fungicide, Aproach, which can be used on wheat and other cereal crops, plus corn and soybeans.
It is a Group 11 fungicide that offers preventive and curative properties, rapid foliar uptake and systemic redistribution in the crop canopy, says Todd Robran, DuPont fungicide portfolio manager.
"Some of the diseases that Aproach will control in cereals include Septoria leaf blotch, tan spot and, of course, the rust complexes," he says.
A product that has both preventive and curative activity provides particular value to wheat farmers, Robran adds.
"This is important for growers and the inevitable application challenges they may face," he says.
"Whether that’s due to Mother Nature delaying the timing of an application of a fungicide or to an application backlog, Aproach offers preventive and curative activity that helps compensate for challenges."
Robran says Aproach testing in wheat has showed a faster crop uptake than competitive products, resulting in quicker protection. For additional information, visit www.aproach.dupont.com.
- Mid February 2013