Source: Pierce Paul, Ohio State University

Wheat in Ohio started turning the first week of June, leaving some producers concerned that this will greatly affect the overall yield of this year's crop. In general, the 2010 wheat crop is about 7 to 10 days ahead of schedule, with flowering occurring earlier than usual this year. With the 4 to 5 consecutive days last week with daytime temperatures above 80 F (and above 90 F in some cases) and relatively high nighttime temperatures, the wheat is beginning to lose its green color in some fields, taking on a straw color, typical of maturing wheat.

Warm late-spring to early-summer weather conditions usually shorten the grain fill period of the crop in Ohio, leading to smaller kernels and lower overall yield. This is because once the wheat starts to lose its green color, the amount of sugars produced by the leaves and spikes and transported to fill grain is greatly reduced. However, the wheat is only just beginning to turn and there is still a considerable amount of green plant tissue in those early fields. Although the few cool nights in the forecast for the next few days will not bring back the green color, this will slow down the maturation process, allowing grain fill to continue for a bit longer.