Delayed Wheat Growth May Have Mitigated Extensive Damage - UNL CropWatch, April 12, 2013

Delayed Wheat Growth May Have Mitigated Extensive Damage - UNL CropWatch, April 12, 2013

April 12, 2013

With this week's storms, temperatures dropped hard, particularly in the Panhandle and north central Nebraska where lows ranged from 11°F to -3°F on Wednesday and Thursday, down from the 50s-70s on Monday.  This area also saw the heaviest snows, ranging from 5 inches at Big Springs to 6-9 at Scottsbluff, 18 at Chadron, and 24 at Harrison.

With all this, how is wheat faring in western Nebraska?

Bob Klein, Extension crops specialist for western Nebraska, writes: "This year’s winter wheat is about 10 days to 2 weeks behind normal in stage of growth or about the same amount that last year’s crop was ahead in growth stage. I think with the moisture in western Nebraska and the stage of growth, damage if any is very limited."

Kansas too was hit by extended periods with lows in the teens. In a KSU agronomy newsletter this week, Jim Shroyer, Extension crop production specialist, also noted that the delay in growth stage may have helped lessen damage. "... any wheat at the jointing stage or later will probably lose some tillers where temperatures were in the teens for an extended time.  Where only some of the tillers have been damaged, there is still plenty of time for undamaged tillers to compensate and minimize any potential yield loss, but that will depend on having adequate moisture, which is uncertain this year."

For information on assessing your wheat stand, see Assessing Winter Wheat Damage after an Early Spring Freeze, an April 10, 2012 CropWatch article.