Wheat Update

Wheat 011

I was able to get back into some wheat today and can see the crop is starting to look better. We had lots of nutrient deficiency with cold and rain over January and February. We planted also later because of being too wet at planting. We want to be on the look out for powdery mildew now. Berrien County Extension Agent Eddie Beasley has seen powdery mildew show up. This disease is not one we worry much about unless it reaches 2 leaves below flag leaf. Here is Eddie on video talking about Powdery Mildew Spotted In Wheat. I am also seeing aphids, but they are under threshold. Our aphid threshold at stem elongation before flag leaf is 2 aphids per stem.

Leaf Sheaths Strongly Erect

Leaf Sheaths Elongate

Wheat in this field is now approaching the stem elongation stage, Feekes Growth Stage 5. This stage is characterized by wheat standing erect and all tiller development discontinues. The growing point is still below the ground. According to Growth Stages of Wheat by Texas A&M, “The vertical growth habit is caused by a pseudo or flase stem formed from sheaths (part below blade) of leaves.” Below are more characteristics of this growth stage outlined in the publication:

After the appropriate amount of chilling, followed by resumption of growth, the growing point differentiates. This means that all leaves have been formed and the growing point…will begin to develop an embryo head. At this growth stage, the size of heads, or number of spikelets per spke, is determined. No effect on yield is expected from tillers developed after Feekes 5.0.

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