From the farmer's field to the university test plots, wheat producers saw strong yields in 2012.
Farmers had an early start to wheat harvest across much of Missouri. "A warm spring and dry May allowed wheat harvest to begin early and proceed rapidly," explained Robert Garino, acting director of the Missouri Agriculturual Statistics Service.
Most of the wheat harvest in the state was completed 20 days ahead of normal, the earliest on record, according to Garino. Southwest Missouri producers had 96 percent of their crop out of the fields by June 1.
Yields are on pace to be the highest since 2003. Garnio reported that wheat yields are expected to average 55 bu./acre, 4 bushels above the May 1 forecast and 5 bushels above the 2011 yield. If realized, the state will produce 38.5 million bushels, 13 percent above last year's production.
Growing conditions helped push yields higher in on-farm research trials as well.
Each year the University of Missouri-Columbia puts wheat varieties to the test to determine how they perform under real world conditions across the state.
The MU Variety Testing Program planted soft red winter wheat in eight different locations in three regions. All of the regions saw grand averages of their locations above 59 bu./acre.
The northern region, comprised of locations in Grundy, Knox and Boone counties, compared 45 different wheat varieties. It posted the highest regional average of 66.8 bu./acre.
The highest yield for the northern region came from the Novelty location in Knox County where Dyna Gro 9171 posted yields of 85.1 bu./acre. Another variety seeing high yields was Pioneer 25R39 at 80 bu./acre in Trenton.
Despite these solid yields in the north, the highest yield came from the southeast region at a test location in Scott County.
Dyna Gro 9053 yielded 90 bu./acre on a farm in Chaffee. The two-year average of this variety was just over 80 bu./acre. The variety beat out71 other varieties tested in the region planted at either Chaffee or Charleston locations.
Varieties also performed well at three locations in southwest Missouri. The highest yield was from Medoc Valley MV-16. The variety saw 77.1 bu./acre yields at a Lamar farm in Barton County.
The average for the region was 59.5 bu./acre. There 40 different varieties were planted in Bates, Pettis and Barton counties.
Variety performance can vary location to location and from year to year. These differences may stem from rainfall, temperature, soil fertility, insects, disease or many other factors. The MU Variety Testing Program provides the data not only more than one location, but also more than one year.
The program measures test weight, plant height and rates plant lodging. In addition, information on the plot like location, soil type, rainfall, fertilizer and herbicides applied, are listed on the crop management summary.
All of this information is provided free online at http://varietytesting.missouri.edu/wheat/results.htm. It is a free service from the University of Missouri-Columbia.