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Adopt A Wheat Field Home Page
June 2

photo 120

 One of the more important changes that is occurring now is with kernel development. Of course, the wheat plants are losing their green color, but so are the kernels. Earlier in the week the wheat was in the soft dough stage and the kernels still had considerable green in them, especially along the crease on the underside of the kernel. But now you can see that these kernels have lost their green color along the crease (click here to see kernels in the late soft dough stage). This tells me the kernels are in the hard dough stage and it wonít be long until harvest time. These kernels are about 27 days old. Letís look inside a kernel.

photo 121

I couldnít smash this kernel, so I had to cut it. You can see the starchy, grainy material inside. Well, thatís the starch in the endosperm. Why canít farmers harvest the grain now? Good question. Basically, there are two reasons and they are both related to moisture. First, the grain moisture is too high and the grain would spoil if it were stored and second, the plants are still too green and wet, especially in the head, so the grain and the chaff would not separate well during threshing. (Threshing is separating the grain from the chaff or head parts, which results in clean grain.)
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