Friday, May 16, 2014

Recent Cold Temperatures will have Little Impact on WI Winter Wheat Crop

With cold temperatures predicted over the next few days (May 15-17) there are some questions regarding the potential impact on this year’s winter wheat crop. Based on the predicted temperatures reported, widespread significant crop injury is unlikely. The winter wheat crop is several weeks behind "normal" and remains in the tiller (Feekes 2) to jointing (Feekes 6) growth stages. At these growth stages the wheat crop can withstand temperature down to 24 degree F for up to 2 hours before crop injury occurs (Table 1).  For more detailed information I have attached a link to a publication entitled Spring Freeze Injury to Kansas Wheat.  For ease I have also removed a table from that publication to stress the importance of growth stage on damage potential  (Table 1).

Lastly, growers may also be questioning the impact of temporary flooding within fields. Though crop injury from this flooding may occur that damage will likely be limited due to cool temperatures and slowed crop respiration. Any crop injury that does occur will directly be related to the duration of the flooding event.

Table 1.  Wheat Resistance to Freeze Injury (From: Spring Freeze Injury to Kansas Wheat)