At midday on the next to last day of the month of January 2015, the temperature in the Corvallis area is showing 48 degrees Fahrenheit. We will end the month close to a maximum average of 49.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The last time we had maximum averages this high in January were 2010, and if you recall, the amount of rust pressure in our wheat crop was significantly high. The rust pressure in our grass seed crops that year were heavy as well. The past ten year average high for December has been 45.7 degrees Fahrenheit with this year being 51.3, ten year average high for January being 46.9 degrees F and this year at 49.6. What does this mean for wheat and grass crops? More than likely a heavy rust pressure year. Scouting all varieties is very important as we have been seeing lots of stripe rust in several wheat varieties since the end of December. The temperatures in the months of December and January are generally a very good indicator of what kind of rust pressure we will see during the growing season.
Last season, rust pressure was low but the amount of Septoria was very high. The month of December 2013 had an average maximum of 41.7 degrees Fahrenheit and January 2014 was 41.3 degrees F. Currently we are seeing high amounts of stripe rust and Septoria leaf disease and they are easy to find in many fields. Have your plans in place for scouting and treatment as we work through the weather, growth stages, and field conditions in your wheat fields.