Wheat Growth and Development – Feekes 10.2 – 10.5

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.  Today I will focus on the heading stages Feekes 10.2 through Feekes 10.5 .

FEEKES 10.1-10.5 – HEADING 

Figure 1. Wheat flag leaf, ligule, awns and head at Feekes 10.5.


Heading marks the emergence of the wheat head from the leaf sheath of the flag leaf, and is subdivided into stages based on how much of the head has emerged.

Stage 10.5 is shown in Figure 1.




  • 10.1    Awns visible, head beginning to emerge through slit of flag leaf sheath.
  • 10.2    Heading one-quarter complete.
  • 10.3    Heading one-half complete.
  • 10.4    Heading three-quarters complete.
  • 10.5    Heading complete.

If you need a reminder on how to determine the different heading growth stages, watch this video.


Scout for insects, weeds, and diseases. A fungicide application may be considered to protect heads from scab.

Check fungicide label for pre harvest interval restrictions and proper growth stage for application.

Click here to go to an earlier post containing the 2023 Wheat Fungicide Ratings. 

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