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got overcast conditions today and it sprinkled a little earlier
this morning. A lot has happened since last week, even though by
the looks of our field there doesn't appear like much happened.
What do you think has happened? Yes, it is just about ready to
harvest, but there's something else. Let's look a little closer.
the plant stems in our row appear to have lost their green color
and look ripe. Do you notice anything on the ground? We'll need to
look even closer.
at all those kernels on the ground. How do you suppose they got
there? (Clue: We had a severe hail storm Saturday evening the
16th.) If you guessed the hail storm did it you are correct! When
hail stones hit the heads the grain is knocked out and it falls to
the ground. Our field lost at least five bushels per acre due to
the hail storm. Letís look at a damaged wheat head.
can see from this picture how the kernels have been knocked from
the different spikelets. Not all of the kernels have been knocked
out, but there arenít many left in this head.
head doesnít appear to be damaged but it has been. This head
looks like itís ready to be harvested. How do you know when a
field is ready to be cut? Well, you have to check the kernels to
see if they are dry enough and you have to see how well the
kernels can be removed from the head. Letís check this head.
you take the head and smash it into the palm of your hand. That
separates the grain from the head just like a combine would do.
Check to see if any kernels remained the head. If there were, the
head is too wet for the combine to thresh or separate the grain
from the head.
throw the head away and blow the chaff away from the grain.
after you blow all the chaff away youíve got clean seed. Now, if
you bite the kernels and they break, then itís ready to be
harvested. And these kernels broke when I bit them! So, when the
heads dry our field can be harvested, but the forecast is for more
rain this week.