Crop Sciences Special Report 2004-01

July 2004


Emerson D. Nafziger, Darin K. Joos, Ralph W. Esgar, and Brian R. Henry

Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana


After the high yields and higher prices of 2003, wheat acreage in Illinois rebounded to 1,000,000 planted acres in 2003-2004. This was even in view of the high corn yields in Illinois in 2003, and the average soybean yields in Southern Illinois, but low soybean yields in Northern Illinois in 2003.


The weather during the fall of 2003 was about average, and wheat got off to a fair start, with average amounts of tillering and ground cover before dormancy. There were areas of excessive rainfall in January, and some crop growth during the warmer temperatures in December and January. The crop came through the winter well, though, once the weather turned cold and the soil stayed relatively well frozen before the spring thaw. Except for some heavy rainfall in some areas in late March, the spring weather was extremely favorable, with cool, dry weather in April. Heading was somewhat early, and had ended in Southern Illinois by the time rainfall returned to much of the state in May. It was rainy and warm through much of May, with Fusarium head scab a real concern in the northern half of the state. Harvest was perhaps the earliest we have ever had in Illinois, with many fields in Southern Illinois harvested by mid-June. The estimated yield on acres harvested this year is 58 bushels per acre according to the July estimate. As the results in this report will show, the southern and central parts of Illinois tended to have higher yields and test weights than Northern Illinois. This is the reverse of what we usually see, and reflects the nature of Fusarium, which tends to be a serious problem only when it happens to rain right during flowering. Unfortunately, we encountered a new problem this year, when deer ate up to 95% of the heads in some (but not other) varieties at Brownstown. Because the damage was variety specific, we could not correct for it, and so were forced to drop the data from that trial. Yields of the unaffected (bearded, mostly) varieties were good there in the mid to upper 70s.


Plots in these variety trials were seeded at the rate of 36 seeds per square foot, and consisted of six 7.5-inch rows trimmed to about 16 feet long before harvest. There were three replications. Yields were corrected to 13.5% moisture. As there were few diseases to rate, we did not take systematic ratings at any of the locations. But this year, we are including Fusarium head scab ratings from Dr. Fred Kolb's misted, inoculated scab trial at Urbana. This trial included some of the commercial entries in our variety trials.


Location Cooperators Soil type Planted N fertilizer Harvest
Dixon Springs

Steve Ebelhar

Ron Hines


silt loam

Oct. 10 40 Fall

75 Spring

June 15

Ed Varsa

Ron Krausz

Ebbertsilt loam Oct. 13 40 Fall

70 Spring

June 14
Brownstown Lindell Deal Cisne silt loam Oct. 13 40 Fall

70 Spring

June 23
Orr Center Mike Vose Clarksdale

silt loam

Oct. 1 40 Fall

60 Spring

June 23

Bob Dunker

Mike Kleiss


silt loam

Sept. 29 40 Fall

40 Spring

June 22

Lyle Paul

Dave Lindgren


silty clay loam

Sept. 24 40 Fall

40 Spring

July 12

Participating Companies

Following is a list of addresses and phone numbers of companies that entered wheat varieties in the 2003 University of Illinois trials reported in this publication. We thank these companies for their support of this program, which is designed as a neutral comparison of all wheat varieties available for production in Illinois.

AgriPro Seeds, Inc. Merschman Seeds, Inc.
Box 411 East 8th St. 103 Ave. D.
Brookston, IN 47923 West Point, IA 52656
(765) 563-3111 (800) 848-7333
Brown Seed Enterprises, Inc. Miles Seed
289 Co. Rd. 550 N P.O. Box 22879
Neoga, IL 62447 Owensboro, KY 42304
(217) 895-2335 (800) 685-0877
DeRaedt Seeds, Inc. Ohio Seed Improvement Assn.
10 N 971 Tower Road 6150 Avery Rd.
Hampshire, IL 60140 Dublin, OH 43013
(847) 464-5553 (614) 889-1136
Diener Seeds, Inc. Pioneer Hi-Bred Int'l.
371 N. Diener Rd. 14171 Carole Drive
Reynolds, IN 47980 Bloomington, IL 61704
(219) 984-5837 (800) 950-3489
Excel Brand Seeds Royster-Clark, Inc.
Box 320 717 Robinson Road SE
Camp Point, IL 62320 Washington C.H., OH 43160
(888) 593-7707 (800) 659-7790
Gateway Seed Steyer Seeds
5517 Van Buren Rd. 6154N Co. Rd. 33
Nashville, IL 62263 Tiffin, OH 44883
(618) 327-8000 (800) 231-4274
Green Valley Seed Syngenta Seeds, Inc.
P.O. Box 135 P.O. Box 1240
Kahoka, MO 63445 Winterville, NC 28590
(660) 727-3341 (252) 746-3004
GROWMARK, Inc. UAP Richter Co.
1701 Towanda Ave. 1267 W. Washington
Bloomington, IL 61701 Pittsfield, IL 62363
(309) 557-6399 (800) 533-8309
JGL, Inc. Wilken Seed Grains, Inc.
3540 S. US 231 P.O. Box 770
Greencastle, IN 46135 Pontiac, IL 61764
(765) 653-5402 (815) 844-3458
Lewis Hybrids, Inc.
530 West Maple Ave.
Ursa, IL 62376
(800) 252-7851