Stripe Rust and More – In the News!

Stripe Rust Moving North, Lower Wheat Acres, and Record Breaking Yields!

Some interesting things have been popping up in the news lately.   Some of them will have future impact to Ontario Farmers.


Stripe Rust has been spotted across parts of the US already in 2017.  Reports in late March had stripe rust stretching from Mississippi to Kansas in levels that warranted spray to control.  Around April 10th reports started to surface of Stripe Rust being detected (at low amounts so far) as far north as Wisconsin.   With the Stripe Rust epidemic that occurred last year in Ontario this should act as an alarm.  It is bound to move further north if it is already being detected there. If you have planted a highly susceptible variety you should definitely consider applying an early (T1) fungicide onto your wheat.  C&M is fortunate to have very strong genetics for stripe rust, but if the outbreak is bad enough, it will eventually move into these fields as well.  CM 249 and Drew are slightly susceptible to stripe rust and likely should have a fungicide applied.  Cruze, WB 425, CM 614 and our entire Hard Red Lineup have very good strip rust tolerance.   If you are unsure about variety, fungicides, or have stripe rust questions, give us a call and we would be happy to discuss this topic with you.

Check out the link below about stripe rust in Wisconsin.


There is reason to be slightly bullish on wheat pricing opportunities in the future.  We have ended a winter wheat planting season in 2016 that saw the lowest seeded winter wheat acres in the US since 1909.  Lower acreage amounts occurred in both the Hard Red and Soft Red growing regions.  Western Canada also had very low winter wheat acreage planted.  Intended spring wheat acreage is expected to be down in Western Canada and the NorthWestern United States as well.  The lower acreage in the Northwestern US is mainly due to wetness delaying planting.  All of these situations will put pressure on the wheat market.  If there is any kind of crop quality concerns or crop loss in other growing regions in the world, we could see a rally in wheat markets.

Check out this link to further read about the situation with spring wheat in Northern US.


A farmer in New Zealand has broken the record for highest wheat yield.  Eric and Maxine Watson of Ashburton harvested 249.68 bushels/acre on February 17.  This just shows that wheat responds to management more than most crops.  Although New Zealand has longer growing days than us, the wheat geek in me sees hope for the future of wheat yields in Canada.   We have plenty more to learn, but we are gradually inching closer.  2016 moved Ontario’s average yields to higher than ever before recorded average yields at 90.9 bu/acre.  New Genetics and improved management techniques continue to push the bar higher.

Key facts about the Watsons’ new world record wheat crop:

  • Winter wheat, variety Oakley (irrigated)
  • Planted April 9, 2016, harvested February 17, 2017
  • Location – Paddock 15, Wakanui, Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Yield – 16.791 tonnes/ha (6.69 ton/acre or 249.68 bushels/acre)
  • Harvested from 11.89 ha (29.39 acres)
  • The wheat will most likely go into animal feed for dairy cows.

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