We received an interesting look into wheat management the other day, courtesy the National Agricultural Statists Service, which just issued the 2012 Agricultural Chemical Use Survey, based on input from farmers in 15 states covering Winter wheat, Spring wheat and Durum wheat.
The survey – conducted by the NASS and the Economic Research Service, tracks fertilizer and pesticide use, plus pest management practices of farmers in each wheat class. comparing 2012 adoption of these technologies to adoption in 2009, the last time the survey was targeted toward wheat producers.
Key points include:
- Application of fertilizer to winter wheat in 2012 includes: nitrogen, 85% of all acres; phosphate, 55% and potash, 13%. Average rate of each of these in winter wheat is nitrogen, 62# per acre; phosphate, 32# per acre and potash, 42# per acre.
- Pesticides used in all winter wheat acres include: herbicides, 61%; fungicide, 19% and insecticide, 3%. Top herbicides used in winter wheat acres include thifensulfuron, 14% of planted acres, with an average rate of 0.009# per acre; metsulfuron-methyl, 13% of planted acres, with an average rate 0.003# per acre and 2,4-D, 2-EHE, 13% of all planted acres, with an average rate of 0.541 pounds per acre.
The survey also asked wheat growers to report on pest management practices used on wheat: prevention (keep a pest population from infesting a field); avoidance (practices that mitigate or eliminate pests); monitoring (observing or detecting pests through systematic observation) and suppression (controlling or reducing existing pest populations).
Pests are defined as weeds, insects or diseases. Scouting for weeds was the most widely reported monitoring practice in 2012. In prevention practices, no-till or minimum-tillage was the top reported practice. The top practice in pest management category, by type, comparing 2012 to 2009, includes:
- Prevention (no-till or minimum till) 64% in 2012 and 55% in 2009
- Avoidance (rotated crops last 3 years) 60% in 2012 and 36% in 2009
- Monitoring (scouting for weeds) 86% in 2012 and 84% in 2009
- Suppression (covers, mulches, etc) 48% in 2012 and 39% in 2009
The Chemical Use survey is conducted each year by NASS and the Economic Research Service, targeting different crops, states and livestock each year. Wheat is targeted every few years, according to Jason Lamprecht, who heads the Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service. More information about the survey can be found here: