Wheat field

The latest Extension information on wheat production and management practices from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Crop Growth and Development

Understanding plant development can be helpful for making management decisions. The optimum timing of fertilizer, irrigation, herbicide, insecticide, and fungicide applications are best determined by crop growth stage rather than calendar date.

The impact of various crop stresses such as frost, heat, drought, disease, insect damage, or weed competition can be more accurately predicted with a clear understanding of the relationships between crop growth stage and plant response to stress.

Major growth stages:

  • Germination
  • Seedling
  • Tillering
  • Stem elongation (jointing)
  • Booting
  • Heading
  • Flowering (anthesis)
  • Milk
  • Dough
  • Ripening

Additional Resources

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(Photo by Nathan Mueller)
Photo by Nathan Mueller

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