Spring wheat growth and development guide
Spring wheat goes through a series of growth stages that are described by several staging schemes, the most comprehensive of which is the Zadoks system. Understanding spring wheat growth and development is critical to achieving maximum productivity.
Winter vs. spring wheat
Exposure to temperatures in the 38 to 46 degree Fahrenheit range promotes winter wheat development, whereas spring wheat types do not require cold temperatures for normal development. When grown properly in Minnesota, both types head in the late spring or early summer and mature by mid- to late-summer.
The two-digit code system
The first digit of this two-digit code refers to the main stage of development, which starts with germination and ends with kernel ripening (stage 9). The second digit of this two-digit code, which ranges from 0 to 9, subdivides each main growth stage. For example, a 75 refers to the medium milk stage of kernel development.
The second digit in seedling growth, principal growth stage 1, refers to the number of emerged leaves; a leaf must be at least 50% emerged to be counted; do not count tiller leaves. The seedling stage identifying the leaf numbers is useful for herbicide application.
Tillering stage and beyond
The Feekes-Large system, which numerically identifies stages such as tillering, jointing, and ripening but lacks the more detailed attributes of the Zadoks and Haun systems, has been widely used but is becoming less popular.
The first true leaf pushes through the tip of the coleoptile as it emerges from the soil (Figure 3). Leaves produce at a rate of about one every four to five days, and growth occurs in three distinct phases spanning about four weeks under normal conditions.
The first phase, also known as the “watery ripe” and “milk” stages, determines the number of cells in the endosperm. As the kernel matures, its consistency hardens and its green color fades.
Factors affecting yield
According to the International Grains Council (GMC), adverse environmental conditions during any of a kernel’s growth periods can reduce the rate of dry matter accumulation and decrease yield; the longer the adverse condition lasts and the earlier it occurs during grain filling, the greater the effect on yield.
The removal of leaf blades early in grain development (at flowering) consistently reduced grain weight more than leaf removal two weeks later. Photosynthates (products of photosynthesis) produced by the plant during grain filling account for 70 to 90 percent of final grain yield. Maintaining green and functional upper leaf blades, sheaths, and heads during grain filling is important.
How long does it take for spring wheat to mature?
Spring wheat is typically planted between March and May and harvested (or simply dug up) between July and September, implying a four-month maturity period compared to winter wheat.
How do you know when wheat is mature?
Place a kernel of wheat in your mouth and bite down; it should crunch, not be soft or chewy; if it is, wait a little longer for it to dry down. 3) Nodding u2013 When seed heads are ready to harvest, they will begin to nod or bow on the stem.
What month is spring wheat harvested?
Winter wheats are planted in the autumn and harvested in late spring or early summer, while spring wheats are planted in the early spring and harvested in late summer or early autumn.
What are the stages of wheat growth?
Wheat growth can be divided into several stages: germination/emergence, tillering, stem elongation, boot, heading/flowering, and grain-fill/ripening. Several different systems have been developed to identify wheat growth stages; the Feekes scale and the Zadoks scale are the two most popular.
Is it illegal to grow wheat at home?
Commercial wheat operations, which rely heavily on commercial pesticides and fertilizers for production, are often very traumatic to otherwise fertile land, making it illegal to grow wheat at home.
Does wheat need a lot of water?
Wheat requires 12 to 15 inches (31 to 38 centimeters) of water to produce a good crop, and it thrives in temperatures ranging from 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 24 degrees Celsius), but not too hot, as well as plenty of sunlight, especially when the grains are filling.
What does wheat look like after harvest?
Once the soil is ready, wheat seeds are planted using a machine called a grain drill. Wheat grows in stages, starting out green and resembling grass, then becoming taller and turning a golden brown color as it dries.
What is the life cycle of wheat?
Germination, seedling establishment and leaf production, tillering and head differentiation, stem and head growth, head emergence and flowering, grain filling and maturity are the divisions of the wheat growth cycle. Figure 2: Germinating wheat kernels showing radicle, seminal roots, and coleoptile.
Which method of sowing is best suited to wheat?
There are four ways to sow wheat:
- Broadcasting: Seeds are broadcast and then worked in by harrowing to cover them.
- Behind Local Plough: This method is used by the majority of farmers.
- Drilling: Seed is sown by seed drill or ferti-seed drill in this method.
What’s the difference between spring and winter wheat?
The difference between spring wheat and winter wheat is when the seeds are planted; spring wheat is planted in the spring and harvested in the fall, whereas harder winter wheat has a higher protein content and is used to make pasta and bread.
What happens to wheat if it is not harvested?
Wheat harvesting is postponed, putting the crop at risk of disease, lodging, sprouting, and harvest loss.
What happens to wheat after it is harvested?
The harvested grain is sold to a local grain elevator at market price, after which it is sold to flour millers for domestic consumption or loaded onto ships bound for overseas markets. Flour mills grind the grain into various types of flour, such as whole wheat, all-purpose, and bread flour.
What is the seed rate of wheat?
Wheat is a winter (rabi) crop in India. Seed rate: 100 kg/ha for medium grain varieties, 125 kg/ha for bold seeded varieties, and 125-150 kg/ha for late sown varieties is recommended.
How long does it take for wheat seed to germinate?
We know that a seed takes about 144 F-GDD to germinate and that a plant takes about 180 F-GDD to emerge from a planting depth of 2 inches (90 F-GDD per inch), so it takes 324 F-GDD just to get the first leaf of the plant out of the ground.