Wheat

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

Related Articles

Wheat variety trials
Winter wheat variety trials are conducted across the state to evaluate yield, protein, and weight of different varieties under different conditions.

2018 Nebraska Variety Testing Summary and Fall Seed Guide August 30, 2018

This summary looks at lessons learned from the 2018 wheat variety trials (some sites garnered excellent yields) and how to use data from multiple trials to aid seed selection for the 2019 crop.

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A field of lodged wheat with an inset photo showing wheat stubs where the wheat stem sawfly overwinters.
Figure 1. Wheat lodging due to wheat stem sawfly. Figure 2 (inset). Wheat stubs remaining in field after sawfly feeding. The sawfly will overwinter in the stub and leave the plant in the spring.

Increased Wheat Stem Sawfly Populations In 2018 August 30, 2018

One of the newest challenges to wheat growers is the wheat stem sawfly, which can girdle stems, causing lodging and yield losses. University research may offer a clue to new control practices.

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Comparison of two wheat research plots near Scottsbluff. On the left is an untreated control plot with a heavy infestation of downy brome and feral rye. On the right the same population of grassy weeds was treated with Aggressor herbicide, part of the CoAXium Wheat Production System.
Figure 1. Comparison of two wheat research plots near Scottsbluff. On the left is an untreated control plot with a heavy infestation of downy brome and feral rye. On the right the same population of grassy weeds was treated with Aggressor herbicide, part of the CoAXium Wheat Production System.

CoAXiumâ„¢ Wheat Production System and Aggressorâ„¢ Herbicide for Controlling Grassy Weeds August 30, 2018

A new herbicide-tolerant wheat production system was officially unveiled in 2018 and offers growers a new means to control grassy annual weeds in wheat.

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Stinking smut (left) and loose smut of winter wheat
Fungal diseases of wheat include stinking smut (left, Figure 1) and loose smut (right, Figure 2). (Photos by Stephen Wegulo)

Should I Plant Treated Wheat Seed? August 29, 2018

Using clean, certified, treated winter wheat seed optimizes the chances of obtaining high yields. Seed-transmitted diseases and fall insects can reduce grain yield as well as quality next summer.

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Image of a partial wheat crop budget

Using Wheat Crop Budgets to Assist Decision Making August 29, 2018

Nebraska Extension has published seven wheat production budgets to help growers identify total costs under different scenarios as well as potential opportunities for trimming costs.

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