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field is almost completely headed– that means the head is out of
the boot or leaf sheath of all the plants. As you saw from May 9th
the wheat was almost headed then. There were a considerable number
of visible heads last Friday, but I didn’t take any pictures.
So, do you think wheat harvest is going to happen pretty soon?
Well, we’ve got to wait for about 30 days. It is going to be hot
today and for the rest of week– that’s not good for wheat.
Wheat prefers cool weather, say about 70ºF. We could be in
the plants in the row have headed. Our wheat was in Feekes stage
10.5 (heading complete) over the weekend. So, we are actually
slightly past that stage now. Our plants are in the flowering
stages ... beginning flowering is Feekes stage 10.5.1, but we need
to look closer.
we look closely at an individual wheat head or spike, as some
people call it, we can see those funny-looking things sticking
out. Those are anthers. Anthers contain the pollen. When you see
anthers outside the wheat flower or floret you know that pollen
has been shed and pollination has occurred. And if you will notice
flowering has occurred all the way to the base of the head, which
means this plant is Feekes stage 10.5.3 (flowering complete to the
base of the spike). For an in-depth description of the wheat
floret we need to look at last
year’s discussion from May 4th.
Those long, slender
structures are called awns. Farmers usually call them
"beards." Awns contain chlorophyll, so they carry on
photosynthesis just like leaves. Awns are important for wheats
that are grown in drier climates, because they have a smaller
surface area and they don’t lose as much water as leaves do.
are now looking inside a wheat floret and we can see a small,
developing kernel. This kernel is only about 3 days old. So, this
means this floret was pollinated over the weekend. It doesn’t
look very much like a wheat kernel to me, but it will in a few