Rainy season was good for valley wheat growers

Jun 18, 2010

The rainy season of 2009-10 was good news for San Joaquin Valley wheat farmers, according to an article in Western Farm Press.

It was the wettest growing season in the past five years, wrote reporter Harry Cline. Central Valley dryland producers are happy; coastal and Delta farmers, however, got too much rain, which cut early production.

Cline gathered the information at a UC Cooperative Extension cereal field day in Tulare County. At the field day, UCCE farm advisor Steve Wright said the rain saved growers two 4-inch irrigations.

“That is huge — saving 8 inches of water,” Wright was quoted.

One concern that arises in wet weather is stripe rust, but it caused more damage in triticale than wheat this year.

“All PCAs and growers were watching for stripe rust this year since it was projected to be a bad rust year. There were hits, but it never took off and blew up like it did in 2003,” Wright was quoted in the article. “Newer varieties still have pretty good resistance and some fungicides went on, but overall it was not that bad. Even in the Sacramento Valley, stripe rust did not take off as expected this year.”

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By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist