Small Grains

Learn Small Grain crop information regarding tillage, irrigation, economics, pests, fertility, and weeds.

Tillage

The Ten Most Common Mistakes in Using No-Till

Interest in no-till (NT) crop production practices has increased greatly among Utah farmers and ranchers in recent years. The primary benefits of implementing a cropping system with little or no tillage includes improved soil quality (improved soil moisture retention, improved soil structure, greater nutrient cycling, and increased soil organic matter) and increased economic profitability (reduced labor, equipment costs, and fuel). Although new to many Utah growers, NT has been successfully utilized by producers across the U.S. for many years.

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Irrigation

4R’s of Irrigation Management

The research community and fertilizer industry have developed and utilized a framework termed “4R nutrient management” to help improve fertilizer stewardship. For decades, national and international organizations and institutes such as The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) have worked diligently to promote the research and use of fertilizer 4R’s.

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Defense Against Drought

Utah’s climate can often be harsh and unpredictable. As the nation’s second driest state, Utah is commonly subject to droughts. Extensive statewide droughts have often lasted 5 to 6 years. It is imperative that farmers are well prepared to defend against drought to minimize risk and losses.

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Economic Feasibility of Solar Photovoltaic Irrigation System Use in Great Basin Forage Production

The Great Basin is primarily located in Nevada, western Utah, and small sections of southern Oregon and Idaho. The Great Basin is noted for its arid conditions and high percentage of publically owned land. The potential for solar energy generation in the Great Basin is vast.

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Water Rights in Utah

If you are connected to a municipal system, your water is probably categorized as “culinary or municipal water” and is used for everything from drinking and bathing to washing the car to watering tomatoes. However the Utah Division of Water Rights takes a more itemized approach to water use when applied outside of a municipal system.

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How Well Does Your Irrigation Canal Hold Water? Does it Need Lining?

Irrigation canals placed in native soil or lined with earth can have seepage water losses varying from 20 percent to more than 50 percent. Well designed, new compacted earth lined canals can have reduced seepage losses similar to concrete lined channels. However, consistent and regular maintenance is required to keep seepage losses low.

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Energy Conservation with Irrigation Water Management

Irrigators in Utah experienced rapidly increasing energy costs from the mid 1970s to the late 1980s. These costs remain relatively high. Those who are pumping from deep wells are particularly interested in ways to cut back on energy use without doing away with profitability or production.

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How Good is Your Water Measurement?

Accurate water measurement is essential to maintaining equity of water delivery within an irrigation company or water districts. Good management of our scarce water resource is dependent upon quantifying supplies and uses with accurate measurement techniques. State water rights adjudication and management procedures often require installation of water measurement devices and keeping records of flows.

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Economics

Adopting Organic Wheat: Grower Motivations and Concerns

In recent years, the demand for organic products has increased rapidly. The Organic Trade Association found the percentage share of at-home organic food purchases in 2015 had more than doubled since 2005 to 5% of the total share and organic retail sales in the U.S. were $43.3 billion in 2015. For organic wheat products, such as bread and baked goods, the demand currently exceeds the supply.

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2019 Costs and Returns for Irrigated Safflower, Northern Utah

Enterprise budgets are the building blocks of a farm or ranch. They represent estimates of income and expenses for a specific period of time using a set of production practices and inputs for that enterprise. This research contains sample costs and returns to establish and produce irrigated safflower in Northern Utah. It is intended to be a guide used to estimate income and expenses, list inputs and production practices, and provide a framework for the whole farm plan.

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Characteristics of Organic Wheat Growers

Organic growers and their farms, in general, have certain characteristics in common, including age, gender, farm size, values, education level, etc. For example, organic fresh produce growers are generally younger, highly educated females (Kallas et al., 2010).

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Premium Potential for Organic Wheat Products

The demand for organic wheat products, such as breads and snack foods, in the U.S. is currently higher than the availability of organic wheat. Sales of organic foods in 2017 were 13 times the level of sales in 1997 ($3.4 billion to $45.2 billion) (Organic Trade Association, 2018).

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2015 Costs and Returns for Irrigated Soft White Wheat, Box Elder County

Enterprise budgets are the building blocks of a farm or ranch. They represent estimates of income and expenses for a specific period of time using a set of production practices and inputs for that enterprise.

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Small Grains 2008 Commodity Insurance Fact Sheet

Insurable types of small grains are Wheat, Barley, and Oats that are grown for the production of grain, not forage. Irrigated, non‑irrigated and other production practices are insurable in many counties, as are fall‑ and spring‑planted crops.

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Crop Revenue Coverage 2007 Commodity Insurance Fact Sheet

Crop Revenue Coverage(CRC), provides revenue protection against a yield loss, a price decline, or a combination of both. CRC is available for these crop and counties Beaver, Box Elder, Cache, Carbon, Davis, Duchesne, Emery, Garfield, Iron, Juab, Millard, Morgan, Rich, Salt Lake, San Juan, Sanpete, Sevier, Summit, Tooele, Uintah, Utah, Washington and Weber Counties.

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General


Pests

Pesticide Use on Utah's Small Grain Crops

A survey of Utah small grain growers was conducted in the fall of 1996 by personnel of Utah State University Extension Entomology. The majority of the survey was related to integrated pest management practices but included a section devoted to pesticide use on small grains.

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Understanding Pesticide Risks: Toxicity and Formulation

Pesticides are substances that control unwanted organisms. A pesticide can be used to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate pests. Common pest organisms include insects, plants, fungi, bacteria, plant-parasitic nematodes, viruses, snails and slugs, and nuisance vertebrate animals. Risks of pesticide exposure to humans, other nontarget species, and the environment are primarily influenced by a pesticide’s toxicity and formulation.

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Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers are among the most conspicuous insects in Utah, and are viewed by many as also among the most injurious to our crops and rangelands. In any given year, thousands of acres may be sprayed throughout the state to reduce potential damage. While at times grasshoppers may inflict intolerable loss, we must recognize that only a few species cause economic damage. We must also understand that because outbreaks can occur simultaneously across the landscape, suppression programs may be successful only when they are wellplanned and carried out over large acreages.

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Boom Sprayer Calibration for Pesticide Applications

To protect your investment in agricultural pesticides, a boom sprayer should be calibrated at the start of the season and whenever application conditions change. Also, sprayer output should be periodically checked throughout the season to assure proper application rate. Although boom sprayers are calibrated in a variety of ways, each method utilizes the measurements of nozzle flow rate and equipment travel speed.

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Fertility

Nitrogen for Small Grains After Alfalfa

Nitrogen fertilizer is one of the most expensive crop inputs. It is an essential nutrient for most crops and often increases yield more than any other nutrient. Small grains are no exception to this. Alfalfa is the dominant crop in Utah in terms of area and gross sales, and as an N-fixing legume does not require N fertilizer. When terminated, alfalfa usually leaves a lot of N in the soil for subsequent crops.

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General

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Disease

Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV)

Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) is found worldwide. It infects small grains like barley, wheat, oats and rice as well as many wild grass species. There are two strains of the barley yellow dwarf virus- BYDV-MAV and BYDVPAV. BYDV-MAV is transmitted by the English grain aphid. (Sitobion avenae) BYDV-PAV is transferred by the bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi) and the English grain aphid (Sitobion avenae). The strain identified in Utah is BYDV-PAV.

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Snow Mold on Small Grains

Snow molds are diseases caused by fungi that attack small grain crops under snow cover or in cool, wet weather. There are three important types of snow mold fungi that can infect small grains (wheat, barley, and rye) in Utah and they can occur together on the same plant. The symptoms for the diseases can look similar.

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Wheat Stripe Rust

Stripe rust, or yellow rust, is primarily a foliar fungal disease of wheat, although it can infect spike and stem tissues. If the pathogen infects the spike (head) it causes extensive quality and grain yield loss. The disease is caused by the fungus Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici. The fungus can only survive and reproduce on wheat.

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Weeds

Noxious Weed Field Guide for Utah

Invasive noxious weeds have been described as a raging biological wildfire – out of control, spreading rapidly, and causing enormous economic losses. Millions of acres in North America have been invaded or are at risk of being invaded by weeds, including cropland, pastures, rangelands, forests, wilderness areas, national parks, recreation sites, wildlife management areas, transportation corridors, waterways, wetlands, parks, golf courses, even yards and gardens. Noxious weeds are capable of spreading at rates of up to 60% annually.

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Fortifying Farms and Ranches Againgst Weed Invasion

The problem with newly introduced weeds is that they are often more aggressive, persistent, harmful, and more difficult to control than those historically managed. Any farm or ranch in the western U.S. has at least a few weeds that have come from other places that are now having a negative impact on profitability. Regardless of the number of weeds that currently infest a farm or ranch, there are literally hundreds of new weeds in neighboring farms, towns, counties, states, and even countries that threaten to gain entry.

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