Height not best measure of harvest

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

The height of a wheat plant isn’t what most farmers look at for a good crop, experts said.

Good wheat plants don’t have to be tall, said New Mexico State University crop physiologist Sangu Angadi.

“When the plant grows, we want more grain not just the plant growing tall and luxuriously,” he said.

NMSU agronomy specialist Mark Marsalis said irrigated wheat is taller than dryland wheat.

But the moisture and cooler temperatures this year were conducive for the production of bigger wheat heads on dryland crops.

“This year, wheat fields weren’t tall but produced more grains,” Marsalis said.

Though irrigated wheat field yields have not been reported yet, he said he wouldn’t be surprised if dryland wheat produced more grain than wheat from irrigated ones.