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Adopt A Wheat Field Home Page
June 5

It has been five days since you have seen our field. You can see it has almost turned its mature color. You canít see very much green in the plants now. Compare today with what it looked like last week, click here.

As harvest approaches farmers get very nervous about the weather. (Farmers are always nervous about the weather, but probably more so now.) They are afraid of thunderstorms. Not the thunder and lightning, but what the storm will do to their wheat crop. Usually when a thunderstorm occurs there are strong winds, heavy rain, and hail. Thatís what scares them... hail. Hail can wipe out a wheat crop in minutes and thereís is nothing they can do.

Letís look at our row to see how it is coming along. Most of the heads are mature, but thereís still some green in heads of later tillers. These heads are still too wet to be harvested, but it wonít be long. Letís look at two heads.

You can see the head on the left still has a green tinge, while the head on the right is almost completely its mature color. I opened some of its florets to look at the kernels and noticed that the lemma still had some green color where the awn was attached. I have mentioned before that our variety, Jagger, is a bronze-chaffed variety, but probably the most common chaff color is white. Letís compare chaff color, click here to see.

This picture shows the progression of kernel development. On the left is a kernel in the soft dough stage. The second kernel is early in the hard dough stage and the third kernel, while it, too is in the hard dough stage, it is a little darker or further along in its development. The fourth kernel is where we are now in kernel development. This kernel is about 30 days old and it is physiologically mature. That means there are no more carbohydrates or proteins moving into the kernel, so it wonít get any bigger. The moisture content of this kernel is about 35 percent. Still too wet to harvest, but it is mature. Now, we have to wait for the weather to dry the grain to about 15 percent moisture and then we can harvest our field. I think our field will be ready to harvest in about a week.
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