Winter Wheat Preparations: Your crop was heading early (May 26th in the Lake Plain area) and is now in grain fill/maturation growth stages. Will you be ready for harvest when the wheat is ready? Last year we had one or two good days for early harvest and then it rained. Grain quality suffered and declined rapidly. Prepare grain bins for wheat harvest now. Market any grain in the bins. Prices for wheat, corn and soy are the highest ever seen. If you have grain in storage, move it. Wheat prices will likely drop as harvest starts in Texas and moves northward.
Empty bins can be cleaned on those rainy days when field work is not possible. Sweep them out; reach up on the walls as far as possible. Wear a good dust mask. Remove all grain and debris from the inside. Clean up around the outside. Mow, pull or chemically kill any weeds growing around the base. After cleaning, spray an empty bin insecticide around the inside walls, on the floor and turn on the aeration fan to blow insecticide into the sub-floor area. See pages 145-146 in the “2022 Cornell Guide for Integrated Field Crop Management” for details on materials and management. Contact me if you need a hard copy (firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-622-0771). Follow label requirements. There are several newer materials available with broad spectrum capabilities. Spray around the outside six feet from the base and up the outside walls as far as you can reach. Clean out augurs, cups and low areas in the handling systems. Check the bottom of grain legs for grain pieces.
Do the same with combines and grain handling wagons. Clean them out; vacuum out as much as possible. Maybe run a couple bales of straw thru the combine system. Preparation in late June and early July can pay big dividends. Be sure the combine is tuned up and ready to go as well as the drier system! It may be needed for that early start.