Wheat harvest date impacts both grain yield and quality. Delaying wheat harvest puts the crop at risk for increased disease, lodging, sprouting, and harvest loss. Last year in Clark County, we evaluated wheat harvested on June 29 (at 12% moisture content) and July 8 (at 14% moisture content). Grain moisture increased between June 29 and July 8 due to 0.58” rain between the two dates.
When wheat harvest was delayed until July 8, yield decreased by nine bushels per acre, test weight decreased by 2.9 pounds per bushel, and DON level increased by 0.86 parts per million. Using a grain price of $4.50 per bushel and discounts from a local elevator, the difference the delayed wheat harvest resulted in a loss of $87 per acre compared to the June 29 harvest.
With funding from the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program, we are continuing this research. However, we will be comparing grain yield and quality of wheat harvested at ~20% moisture to ~13% moisture.