Today managing your wheat crop requires knowledge of the different growth stages of the plant. Growth stage identification is critical for scouting and proper timing of fertilizer and pesticide applications. Each week throughout the rest of the growing season I will discuss the various wheat growth stages I am seeing in our wheat fields and management issues at each stage. This week I will focus on Feekes 6. The recent warm weather has stimulated wheat growth. While growth stage does vary throughout the County, some of our field are at (or soon will be) Feekes 6 growth stage.
Feekes 6 – First node of stem visible (jointing)
The first node of the stem becomes visible as a result of internode elongation. Nodes are stacked and move up as the internodes elongate much like a telescope. Sensitivity to low temperatures increases as the developing head is pushed up by the expanding stem. Crop water demand increases to about 0.25 inch per day. Approximately 25 percent of the total dry matter is accumulated by this stage.
Consider a first fungicide application under significant disease pressure. Do not apply dicamba or 2,4-D after wheat reaches jointing and avoid equipment with wide tires.
If you need a reminder on how to assess if wheat is at Feekes GS 6, see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_f3VrqzV5c.