David H. Teem
Oat, wheat, barley, rye, and triticale varieties were tested during the 1971-72 season by the Auburn University Agricultural Exreriment Station at 13 locations in the State. The 1971-72 growing season was characterized by an unusually warm season until mid-January; however, on January 16, 1972, temperatures dropped rapidly to lows of 2, 10, and 190 F at Belle Mina, Auburn, and Fairhope, respectively. As a result of the earlier warm temperatures many varieties had begun to head when the rapid temperature drop occurred and severe cold damage resulted, especially on oat and triticale varieties. Diseases were accentuated by the warm fall temperatures. Although several diseases were damaging, leaf rust of wheat and crown rust of oats were unusually severe. The combination of plants weakened by disease and the rapid temperature drop in January resulted in low yields in many tests.