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Kentucky: Freezing Temperatures and Winter Wheat Damage

March 8, 2017

KENTUCKY – Recently, we’ve experience freezing temperatures. Depending on which growth stage your winter wheat is currently at, this may cause damage to the plant.

According to the University of Kentucky Extension, here are tips to assess freeze damage:

  1. Wait until high temperatures are at least 40°F for 5 to 7 days.
  • With high temperatures inthe forecase, assessing freeze damage soon will likely provide an accurate estimate.
  1. Scout fields and look for yellow, chlorotic growing points/limp leaves.
  • There will likely be yellow leaf tips, but as long as the growing point is not affected, therewill be minimal to no damage.
  1. Look out for heaving.
  • Heaving is another concern for wheat stands and yield potential. The extreme temperature changes we’ve been this winter could push wheat plantsout of the soil. This can result in reduced stands and ultimately affect yield if heaving occurs on a large percentage of the field.

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