Northern Neck Ag Advisory

Agricultural information for growers and producers in Virginia's Northern Neck

2018 Virginia Small Grain State Tests

Joseph Oakes


The 2018 Virginia Small Grain State Test results are now available here: Small-grain cultivar performance tests are conducted each year in Virginia by the Virginia Tech Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences and theVirginia Agricultural Experiment Station. The tests provide information to assist VirginiaCooperative Extension Service agents in formulating cultivar recommendations for smallgrain producers and to companies developing cultivars and/or marketing seed within the state.


Yield data are given for individual locations and across locations and years; yield and other performance characteristics are averaged over the number of locations indicated in parenthesis near the column heading. Performance of a given variety often varies widely over locations and years which makes multiple location-year averages a more reliable indication of expected performance than data from a single year or location. Details about management practices for barley and wheat are listed for each experimental location.

How do you use this data to select a variety?

    Grain Yield: If a line has a + then the yield is significantly higher than the mean of the test. A - means that it is significantly lower.

    Test weight: Studies have been done on weather and test weight lost, but all varieties generally lose test weight at the same rate. Choose a variety with a genetically high test weight so it starts out that way.

Heading Date: Choose varieties with varying heading to spread out risk.

Plant Height: Not a perfect correlation with straw mass, but a good proxy. Choose a short variety for double crop and a tall one for harvesting straw. 

Early Height: Usually measured after a warm spell in mid-late winter and can be used as a proxy for spring freeze injury risk. Those with tall early heights tend to be more prone to spring freeze.

PM and LR: Choose a cultivar with a high score, but still scout regularly and apply a fungicide if the disease appears.

Westmoreland County Corn and Soybean Field Day - August 28
Stephanie Romelczyk

The Westmoreland Corn & Soybean Field Day will be held on Tuesday, August 28th at Windsor Farms, operated by F.F. Chandler, Jr. and Louis Chandler, in Montross, VA.  The field day begins at 4:30 pm with a tour of the soybean variety trials located on Route 3 across the highway from Andrew Chapel Church (16340 Kings Hwy) followed by a tour of the corn variety trials also located on Route 3 in front of Carry-On Trailer.  Dinner and the program will be continued at the A.T. Johnson Building.  Private pesticide applicator recertification credits (category 90) will be available to those attending the entire program.  A sponsored dinner will be provided during the field day.  Pre-registration is required by Thursday, August 23rd to ensure a meal.  Please call the Westmoreland Extension Office at 804-493-8924 to register or for more information. 

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services, or other accommodations to participate in this field day, please contact Stephanie Romelczyk at the Westmoreland Extension Office at 804-493-8924 (*TDD number is (800) 828-1120) or during business hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm to discuss accommodations at least 5 days prior to the program date.

Stripe Rust found at Warsaw, VA
Joseph Oakes

On Friday, 4/27/18, Stripe Rust was confirmed in wheat plots at the Eastern Virginia AREC in Warsaw, VA. The disease was found on Southern States 520. Growers on the Northern Neck should begin scouting their fields for Stripe Rust. If it is found on a susceptible variety, a fungicide application is recommended. 

Management recommendations, including variety susceptibility ratings and a fungicide efficacy table for stripe rust from Extension Plant Pathologist Dr. Hillary Mehl can be found here:

Small Grains Field Day
Joseph Oakes

In cooperation with the Virginia Grain Producers Association, the Eastern VA AREC is proud to host the 2018 Virgina Small Grains Field Day. The field day will be on May 17 at the Eastern VA AREC, 2229 Menokin Rd. Warsaw, VA. The event will include field plot tours of wheat varieties, date of planting studies, malting barley varieties and management, small grain disease management, small grain nitrogen use efficiency studies, and more. We will also have an exciting indoor program of speakers featuring updates from Virginia's agriculture leaders; information on small grain industry opportunities; all followed by a great meal with producers and industry members.

Thanks to our sponsors and the Virginia Small Grains Board, this is a free event for attendees.  Please follow this link for more information and an agenda:

7:30 am - Registration and Exhibits Open at the Eastern VA AREC

8:00 am - Welcome and Introductions

8:10 am - Field Tours Start

11:25 am - Indoor Program and Speakers

12:15 pm - Barbecue Luncheon

Small Grains Freeze Damage
Joseph Oakes

The weather forecast calls for the temperature in areas of the Northern Neck to drop to as low as 31⁰F on Friday morning April 20. In Warsaw, temperatures are projected to be at or below 32⁰F from 3 am to 7 am. There is also a freeze watch for areas back west of Interstate 95. While some early planted wheat on the Northern Neck is just at boot stage, the majority of wheat is not there yet. Early maturing barley is starting to head, however. Wheat and barley that is early maturing is what is most susceptible to a spring freeze this time of year.

At boot stage, small grains are most susceptible to freeze injury when temperatures are at 28⁰F for two hours. At heading, injury can occur when temperatures are at 30⁰F for two hours. Primary symptoms of injury at these stages are white spikes, floret sterility, and leaf discoloration. It is important to check you small grains for injury at least 48 hours after the freeze event, as it generally takes this long for the damage to become evident.

For more information on spring freeze injury, check out this good resource from Kansas State: