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Adopt A Wheat Field Home Page
March 9

photo 40

The wheat just keeps on growing. We’ve had another week of above normal temperatures and the wheat has responded, as you can see. Low temperatures have been slightly below freezing. So, there hasn’t been anything to slow it’s growth. Also, we received a little bit more precipitation. If we get lower temperatures this coming week, that will slow it’s growth and make it less vulnerable to freeze damage. Let’s take a close up view of our area.

photo 41

What did I tell you? Stems are forming and they are becoming more erect. You are probably asking yourself, "why is the wheat forming stems now and not last fall?" Good question. Our wheat is a winter annual crop. That means it is planted in the fall, grows through the fall until it goes into semi-dormancy during the winter, due to cold weather, restarts growth in the spring when it gets warm again, stems are formed and the growing point or head moves up (inside the stem) and emerges. The kernels are formed and finally the grain is harvested. Back to the question. The reason wheat has this life cycle is the plant goes through a cool or cold period and that changes the plant from the vegetative stage (leaves and tillers are developed) to the reproductive stage (the head is formed and grain is produced). This cold requirement or process is called vernalization. The soil temperature has to be below 48 degrees for several weeks in order for the plant to become fully vernalized. Some wheat varieties have a short vernalization requirement and they need only a week or two, while other varieties need four to six weeks for vernalization. To complicate matters, there’s such a thing as spring wheat. And as you would guess, it is planted in the spring. Spring wheat does not have a vernalization requirement.

If you want to see how much our wheat has grown over the past month click here. You will be able to see how the wheat has grown since February 8th.

photo 42

As that growing point or head moves up, inside the stem several nodes or joints will be formed. Right now, we’re looking to see if we can find any nodes on the lower part of the stems. I can’t see any, can you? But, it won’t be long

 

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