by Megan Schiffres
Springtime is an especially vulnerable period for wheat farmers in Virginia, whose crops require a consistently warm and dry season to fully develop and become ready for harvest in the summer.
It’s also around this time that wheat buyers begin to search for product and place bulk orders with farmers across the country. In order to help buyers, end users, merchandisers and growers assess the yield and quality potential of this year’s wheat crop, the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation hosts the Mid-Atlantic Wheat Tour every spring.
The tour, which also stops in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, showcases farms across the region and gives participants the opportunity to conduct field observations in person. The Virginia portion of this year’s tour visited farms in Culpeper County, the Northern Neck and the Middle Peninsula. On May 31 it passed through Welch Farms in Heathsville, where representatives from Purdue Agribusiness Grain, Cargill and the Virginia Cooperative Extension analyzed the yield and quality of the crop being grown there.
“We’re looking for physical signs of disease that we can see on the head or on the flag leaf—the top leaf. This field is very clean, I haven’t noticed any disease out here,” said Robert Harper, grain division manager at the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation…