HEPPNER — Fewer acres of wheat in Morrow County were damaged this winter than originally suspected.

Larry Lutcher, OSU Extension agronomist has revised the estimate downward about 5,000 acres. He says the damage probably covers 30,000-40,000 acres.

Lutcher blames aphids for the damage in Morrow County, but said the observed symptoms in Morrow and Umatilla County are not the same.

He said he and other agronomists will have to monitor wheat closely this spring because of symptoms observed earlier.

“A few fields — 1,000 to 1,500 acres —  will have to be reseeded because damage is significant and stands are poor,” Lutcher said.

Damage in other fields was much less severe and limited to relatively small, irregularly-shaped areas, he said, adding that reseeding shouldn’t be necessary there.

“We should know more about the condition of the wheat crop in May or June,” Lutcher said.

— Dean Brickey

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