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Adopt A Wheat Field Home Page
May 31

photo 115

It has been very hot the past few days with temperatures near 100F and 20 MPH winds. Thatís too hot for wheat! And it is hot and windy again today. Wheat is a cool season plant and if you could ask a wheat plant what it preferred it would tell you it enjoys temperatures in the upper 60s to low 70s. Almost all the flag leaves have died or the ones left have leaf rust on them, so they wonít last long with this heat.

photo 116

Looking at some wheat heads in our row you can see quite a range in maturity. Some heads still have a lot of green color in them, while others are becoming more bronze. The stem color ranges from green to greenish-gold. Click here to see a close up of two heads.

photo 117

I noticed some darker-than-normal heads in the area near our row and wondered what was the problem. The left head is the sick one and the right head is okay. Do you have any ideas? (Hint: What was the problem or disease in our field that we talked about over the past month or so?) Thatís right! Barley Yellow Dwarf. This disease causes heads to darken and causes the kernels to shrivel. Click here for a close up of these two heads.

photo 118

These kernels are about 25 days old. They have really changed colors since last week. They still have a slight green color, especially along the crease on the underside of the kernel. The kernel on the right is more tan, but has a hint of green at both ends and it is green along the crease like the first kernel (You will have to trust me.) If we smash a kernel, what do think the inside will look like? Last week it had a milky liquid. Will it be the same?

photo 119

Hmmm, not much milky liquid now. This is a soft, mealy substance, but it is wet. It has a doughy texture. We call this the soft dough stage. The doughy substance is the starch that is in the kernelís endosperm. We are on the downhill side of the grain filling period, so it wonít be long until harvest.
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