Wheat Growth Stages and Associated Management- Feekes 6.0 through 9.0

By: Laura Lindsey, Ed Lentz, CCA, Pierce Paul, OSU Extension

It’s important to correctly identify winter wheat growth stages to enhance management decisions, avoiding damage to the crop and unwarranted or ineffective applications. Remember, exact growth stage cannot be determined by just looking at the height of the crop or based on calendar dates.

Feekes 6.0- Nodes are all formed but sandwiched together so that they are not readily distinguishable. At Feekes 6.0, the first node is swollen and appears above the soil surface. This stage is commonly referred to as “jointing.” Above this node is the head or spike, which is being pushed upwards eventually from the boot. The spike at this stage is fully differentiated, containing future spikelets and florets.
Growers should remove and carefully examine plants for the first node. It can usually be seen and felt by removing the lower leaves and leaf sheaths from large wheat stems. A sharp knife or razor blade is useful to split stems to determine the location of the developing head. Feekes 6.0 growth stage video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iukwznx4DPk Continue reading

Winter Wheat Stand Evaluation

By: Laura Lindsey, OSU Extension

Between planting in the fall and Feekes 4 growth stage (beginning of erect growth) in the spring, winter wheat is vulnerable to environmental stress such as saturated soils and freeze-thaw cycles that cause soil heaving. All of which may lead to substantial stand reduction, and consequently, low grain yield. However, a stand that looks thin in the spring does not always correspond to lower grain yield. Rather than relying on a visual assessment, we suggest counting the number of wheat stems or using the mobile phone app (Canopeo) to estimate wheat grain yield. Continue reading

Vernalization Requirements for Winter Wheat

By: Laura Lindsey and Will Hamman, OSU Extension

Winter wheat has molecular regulation preventing the transition to reproductive growth until a certain threshold of cold days has been reached. This regulation is called “vernalization.” In winter wheat, the vernalization period protects plants from breaking dormancy too early.

The vernalization requirement varies among cultivars and is temperature (and day length) dependent. In a study conducted on one winter wheat cultivar, it took 40 days for plants to achieve vernalization at 52°F while it took 70 days for plants to achieve vernalization at 34°F (see Figure). Continue reading

Wheat and Barley: Cool, Wet Late-Season Conditions

By: Pierce Paul OSU Extension Corn and Small Grains Disease Specialist

Head Scab in Wheat

Cool weather and moisture after flowering often means extended grain-fill and high yields, especially when disease levels are as low as they were at the time of pollination and early grain development in some fields. However, excessive rainfall associated with the cool temperatures could increase the severity of diseases that thrive under cool conditions. But with the crop now well into grain-fill and even turning in some locations, there is very little you can do about late-season diseases. The pre-harvest interval for some of the best fungicides is 30-45 days, which mean that they are now off-label in most areas, given that harvest will likely begin in less than 30 days. Continue reading

Wheat and Barley Diseases and Treatment

By: Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist

It is wet and rainy outside and the forecast calls for more rain throughout this the second week of May (May 14–19). Therefore, growers’ concerns about diseases and the need for fungicides are understandable. However, although most of our common diseases of small grain crops are favored by wet, humid conditions, it does not automatically mean that you have to apply a fungicide this week. Continue reading

2018 Small Grains Field Day is June 12

The OARDC Schaffter Farm located at 3240 Oil City Rd., Wooster, will be the host location for the 2018 Small Grains Field Day. Participants will have the opportunity to walk through research plots, take part in hands-on activities and view equipment demonstrations.

The cost is $25 per person if you register by June 4. Beginning June 5, registration will be $35 per person. Lunch is included in the registration fee. Both commercial and private pesticide applicator credits as well as Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) credits will be offered to field day participants.

To register or for additional details, visit https://go.osu.edu/2018SmallGrains.


9:30 am -10:00 am: Registration

10:00 am: Welcome / Introduction

10:15 am – Noon: Morning Sessions (choose 2)
• Soybean Production With Small Grains
• Growing Malted Barley: Varieties and Research Update
• Barley Economics: Contracts and Budgets
• Barley Agronomic Considerations: Disease and Fertility Management

12:15 pm – 1:00 pm: Lunch (included in registration)

Afternoon Sessions (choose 1)
1:15 – 2:45 pm
• Snyder Farm – Wheat Variety Development/ Disease Management
• USDA Soft Wheat Quality Lab: Tour and Demonstrations