By Matthew Weaver
The Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University are investigating the yellowing of upward of 40,000 acres of wheat in Umatilla and Morrow counties.
So far, the cause is a mystery, and researchers do not know if the problems in the two counties are related.
In early November, Umatilla County growers noticed wheat fields turning yellow and dying, OSU Extension soil scientist Don Wysocki said.
Sixteen fields from three to 10 miles northwest of Pendleton were affected, Wysocki said. They are “more or less but not completely contiguous,” he said. Not every field in the area was affected.
The area was predominately planted to soft white Clearfield variety ORCF-102, but other varieties were also affected, Wysocki said.
“There’s probably more than one thing going on in these particular fields, like in any field,” he said.