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Ohio: Are Your Wheat Plants Purple?

December 19, 2016

Farmers in northwest Ohio have reported purple-reddish leaves on their wheat plants. What does this mean? According to the Ohio State University Extension, there 3 main factors that could contribute to this:

  1. Environmental. The sudden shift to colder temperatures this year may have slowed plant growth and turned leaves purple.
  2. Fertility. If plants have been purple for a longer period, phosphorus deficiency may be the cause.
  3. Disease. Diseases such as barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) can also cause wheat plants to turn purple.

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