The question of wheat seed availability is still to be answered, because none of it is in the bin yet, according to Steve Brown, Texas Foundation Seed manager in Vernon.
Experts say drought, freeze and hail could cause a scramble for wheat seed this fall.
“From a seed availability standpoint, for those of you who will be looking for specific varieties, I would talk to your seed dealers now,” Brown said. “Some of those guys are already pulling wheat out of South Texas for varieties that perform up here.
“One of the nice things about some of the TAM varieties is they are very broadly adapted. So, some of the same varieties grown south of San Antonio are some of the high input varieties that grow up here in the Panhandle.”
He said seed dealers are already scrambling trying to take care of their customers for next year.
“Some of the wheat looks better than it did two and three weeks ago. I have been surprised at what we are seeing as it continues to grow,” Brown said. “In the Rolling Plains and south to Abilene where we had some freezes, but not as many as up in the Panhandle, we had a little rain. Some of the guys who stayed with it are going to cut some wheat.
“The problem we have in that part of the state is most of the wheat we will cut will be off of secondary tillers. We have already had temperatures of 104 and 105 degrees in the Rolling Plains, so this wheat is trying to finish in the heat. So my expectation is test weights will be low.”
Brown said the State Seed and Plant Board met earlier this week to consider recertification of wheat seed. In years with a big loss of seed wheat due to natural disasters, recertification can be used to relax the normal requirements for seed certification.
Recertification was approved, he said, but that does not necessarily solve the problem. In some areas of the state where harvest has been completed, it will be impossible to recertify in those areas unless fields were inspected in advance of harvest.
For recertification to occur, the applicant must be a certified grower or conditioner, he explained. The land where the variety is grown must meet all criteria for seed certification. All application paperwork must be completed and sent to the Texas Department of Agriculture and the field must be inspected in advance of harvest.
He explained any big loss of seed is not a one-year problem; it can be a two-year problem. This is because not only the Certified class is affected, but also the Foundation and Registered classes are affected. The Foundation and Registered classes are the ones used to produce the Certified class which is most typically used by the commercial producer.