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Adopt A Wheat Field Home Page
January 7

photo 26

Let’s start off the new year with a general view of the area. Usually this time of year the wheat is dormant, which means it is not actively growing. From mid December to early February wheat is resistant to very cold temperatures, so we say wheat is winterhardy during this time. But it is amazing to see green wheat now, because normally we would have had enough cold weather to make the wheat plants go into dormancy. Also, the leaves are usually brown or yellowish-brown and the plants look dead (they aren’t dead, but they look it). So, the wheat is probably not as winterhardy as we would like it to be right now. I have had farmers call me worrying about how green their wheat is and they are concerned about how warm the daytime temperatures have been. They wonder if we get some temperatures below 0 F will it hurt the wheat? Go to the next picture to see the flagged area.

photo 27

The wheat between the flags looks about like it did before Christmas. You can see where I’ve been standing and kneeling to take pictures. The greenbugs are gone now, so we are not seeing any damage symptoms. Let’s take a closeup view of the plants.

photo 28

Again the wheat plants look like they did last month. Why do you suppose they haven’t been growing very much? Although the weather has not been too cold, it has been cold enough to slow the tillering and growth of the plants to a near stop. That’s why there’s not much difference between last month and now. Also, this time of the year plants have a prostrate growth, in other words, the plants don’t grow upright, they grow close to the ground. That’s for protection against the cold(and possible winterkill injury). Let’s look at the roots.

photo 29

With the soil washed away you can see the crown roots look very good. I had to have help holding the plant and the roots to show you how long they have grown. Usually when I pull plants up the roots break off, but this time several roots didn’t break and you can see they are about 9 to 10 inches long.

 

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