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The most recent updates are on this page.

Go to the complete list of pictures for the chronology of wheat freeze in Kentucky.

 

Many fields of wheat look good from the road. But each field must be checked for head count and stem quality. Also, much of the wheat has been delayed by about two weeks.

 

The economics indicates that if the wheat yield loss is greater than 55%, then you should plant soybeans as soon as possible. You can put your own numbers into the model to see if it works out the same for your situation. The model is available at: Economic worksheet for wheat (Excel file), April 25 

If you don't have MicroSoft Excel, contact your county extension agent and they can work through the model with you. 

 

May 11, 2007: Meade County (Central Kentucky, borders Ohio R.). From the windshield this wheat looks fine. The heads are developing and flowering appears to be progressing without any troubles. Head count was low. We counted about 30 heads per square foot. Ideal head count is 70 heads per sq. ft. and decent yields can be obtained with 50 heads per sq. ft. If everything goes right, acceptable yields can be obtained with 30 heads per sq. ft.

 

May 11, 2007: Meade County (Central Kentucky, borders Ohio R.). A closer look at the stems from the wheat in the previous picture reveals very poor stem quality. If the wheat heads fill the kernels, then the weight of the heads will cause the stems to fall over. Nearly 90% of the stems with a head of wheat were compromised in this field. This leaves a final stand of about 3 to 6 heads per sq. ft.

 

May 11, 2007: Meade County (Central Kentucky, borders Ohio R.). The freezing temperatures killed the top of this wheat head, while the lower half appears to be developing properly.

May 11, 2007: Meade County (Central Kentucky, borders Ohio R.). The two heads in this photo did not emerge properly from the sheath. The freeze was the likely cause of this, resulting in some cells of the head and sheath fusing together.

May 11, 2007: Meade County (Central Kentucky, borders Ohio R.). Field looks good from the road, but about 80% of the stems are compromised.

May 11, 2007: Meade County (Central Kentucky, borders Ohio R.). This plant is attempting to send out roots from the node (joint) of wheat. The node is black and the stem beneath the node is brown.

May 16, 2007: Bourbon County (Central Kentucky, borders Fayette County (Lexington)). Heads counts were about 35 heads per sq. ft. in this field. Most of the stems appeared healthy, but some of the heads were small. This field should be in the range of 30 to 40 bu/acre. 

May 16, 2007: Bourbon County (Central Kentucky, borders Fayette County (Lexington)). The overall field of wheat appears healthy, but the head counts were low. N deficiency was occurring in stripes in the field. We have seen striping of fields where granular nitrogen (urea) was applied with a spreader truck. We thought the darker stripes were likely the truck path (spreader trucks often put more fertilizer directly behind the truck than to either side). We had a report of the same type of striping occurring in a field where liquid 28% N was applied. Now, we aren't certain what the cause is.

Go to the complete list of pictures for the chronology of wheat freeze in Kentucky.

 

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Last Updated: Friday May 18, 2007.