Wheat harvest is underway. The long hours alone are probably enough to need an extra cup of coffee. However, that isn’t the reason for me to encourage you to up your daily intake of coffee (or any liquids for that matter); once the combine is rolling there is little that will make you stop and take a break, except maybe when mother nature calls.
Is that extra stop that I’m interested in creating. When taking that break, please take a few second extra and scout for wheat stem saw fly (WSS) damage. Check lodged areas of the field or individual stems that were pulled out of the canopy by the reel on the header for the telltale straight, razor-like, cut at the bottom of the stem just above the soil surface. When you split the stem open longitudinally, you will also find the stem filled with something that resembles saw dust.
Please let me know if you find WSS in any of your fields as this helps us understand how widespread the problem is becoming.
Source: University of Minnesota Extension: Minnesota Crop News