It was a rough year to farm wheat in Altus, OK. Our plots were sown into extremely dry soil on October 8, 2012 and received a total of 1.08 inches of rain by December 31. Total rainfall for the entire season was only 7.9 inches. Under these conditions it is amazing that wheat survived, but we somehow entered March with approximately 30 bu/ac yield potential. Some production fields in the area had 50 bu/ac potential and needed nothing more than a few rains to maintain this yield potential. The rains never came and Mother Nature dealt an additional card from the bottom of the deck with major freeze events in late March, late April, and early May.
Altus wheat variety trial results are posted at www.wheat.okstate.edu. Top varieties this year were Doublestop CL Plus (25 bu/ac), WB-Grainfield (22bu/ac), and the OSU experimental lines OK08328 (23 bu/ac) and OK09125 (22 bu/ac). Eleven out of 39 varieties made less than 10 bu/ac, and it is hard to say if drought or freeze had the larger effect on wheat yield. Based on the maturity rating of the top yielding varieties (ie late maturing) one could make the argument that freeze had the larger effect, but some relatively early and medium maturing varieties performed relatively well in the presence of the freeze (e.g. Duster and OK Bullet). The interactions are complicated and not easily explained.
Additional variety trial results will be posted as locations are harvested. To keep up with the latest results, follow me on Twitter @OSU_smallgrains