2023 Wisconsin Winter Wheat Performance Trials

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2023 Wisconsin Winter Wheat Performance Trials

2023 Year in Review

Acreage and Growing Conditions

Wisconsin saw a 3.3% decrease in winter wheat acres planted (290,000) in the 2022-2023 growing season compared to the previous year; 245,000 acres are forecasted to be harvested for grain, compared to 240,000 in 2022. The forecasted yield for the 2023 crop is 66 bu/a, down 12 bu/a from 2022. Wheat acres were generally planted on time with corn and soybean harvest progressing on average. Mild winter conditions and adequate snowfall resulted in good winter survival. Wheat broke dormancy in early April and crop development was normal even with below normal precipitation and normal GDU accumulation. In general, the crop was relatively short in stature.

Overall, winter wheat yield and test weights were average in 2023. Wheat yields at the Arlington, Chilton, Fond du Lac and Waterloo locations averaged 107, 107, 113, 93 bu/a, respectively.

* Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (www.nass.usda.gov)


Statewide, winter wheat disease pressure was even lower than in 2021 when we had record low levels. The very hot and dry weather during much of the stem elongation and flag leaf emergence stages, meant that foliar and head disease pressure was the lowest that has been observed in many years in Wisconsin. One small exception in 2023 was the occurrence of powdery mildew that could be found on some susceptible varieties. The powdery mildew pathogen (Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici) thrives in cool, dry, but humid conditions. For the most part the powdery mildew pathogen was slowed, once daytime temperatures were consistently above 81°F. No other diseases were observed with any consistency in 2023. Due to virtually non-existent disease pressure and no impact on yield, no formal disease ratings were conducted in 2023.

Shawn Conley, Adam Roth, John Gaska, Department of Plant & Agroecosystem Sciences

Brian Mueller, and Damon Smith, Department of Plant Pathology

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison