Nebraska wheat growers are hoping history doesn’t repeat itself this spring.
While the weather has been unseasonably warm, Gage County extension educator Paul Hay recalls a cold snap that hit in May of 1985 which destroyed wheat fields across southeast Nebraska.
“One of the saddest times in the extension I’ve spent here was the year the wheat froze on the 12th of May because it was headed and we lost the crop,” Hay says. “You need to watch those forecasts because we’re headed right to the same potential picture and that’s the scary thing right now.”
Hay says the wheat crop is in great shape in southeast Nebraska thanks to timely rains and mild weather conditions. He also knows that mild weather could change quickly.
“We’re looking good right now, a lot of optimism and with an early crop, a lot of operators could get a double crop in afterwards, if we can get it cut on the 20th of June or so,” Hay says, “We’re sitting for that and hopefully there won’t be any reversal against that.”
Hay says if a freeze does hit in the near future, the amount of damage to the wheat crop will depend on the maturity of the crop.
By Dave Niedfeldt, KWBE, Beatrice