Although the weather patterns over the past several months have been abnormal, Louisiana wheat farmers are reporting a good start to the wheat harvest season, which began two weeks earlier than normal.

Planting in the fall was complicated by dry weather and was followed by a wet and warm winter. These warmer conditions have helped speed up the growing season and are expected to bring higher yields this year.

“The wheat looks really good this year,” LSU AgCenter wheat specialist Ed Twidwell said at a recent wheat and oats field day at the AgCenter Macon Ridge Research Station, the Delta Farm Press reported.

Despite the wheat quality looking good this year, Twidwell said the  lack of vernalization could have decreased some of the yields because it never got cold enough, long enough. He estimates that Louisiana farmers planted 290,000 acres of wheat, up 20 percent, Delta Farm Press reported.

The unusual weather during the growing season is also expected to impact variety trials. Wheat breeders were frustrated this year due to the weather. LSU AgCenter plant breeder Steve Harrison warned farmers to cautiously evaluate this year’s research since it was an atypical year.

Read more from Delta Farm Press here.