Wheat Growth Stages
I hope you’ve been enjoying the Crop of the Month series; I’ve written about wheat before, so I’ve repurposed many of those posts for this series, and I’ve also shared some great wheat recipes that use wheat as a whole grain.
Why Do We Grow Wheat?
Wheat has been the only crop we’ve grown on our farm since the beginning, and we keep it in our crop rotation because it’s a great short-season grass, and our climate isn’t always conducive to a full-season crop like corn.
So How Does Wheat Grow?
Wheat growth can be divided into several stages, and several different systems have been developed to identify these stages. Knowing what stage your wheat crop is in is critical to producing a good crop. The Feekes scale and the Zadoks scale are the two most popular.
Wheat seeds germinate best at temperatures between 54 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and seedlings emerge within seven days under ideal conditions. Until the first leaf emerges, the seedling will rely on the energy and nutrients stored in the seed.
Tillering & Stem Extension
Before stem elongation, most short season wheat plants produce 7-8 leaves on the main stem, and tillering usually begins when the plant has 3-4 leaves. The boot stage begins when the head begins to form inside the flag leaf, also known as the stem extension stage.
Heading & Flowering (Pollination)
The plant then begins reproductive growth, or flowering, during which time high temperatures and drought stress can reduce kernel numbers and yield.
Ripening & Maturity
After pollination, the ripening stage begins, which is divided into four stages: milk, soft dough, hard dough, and mature. Harvesting can begin when the grain has reached a suitable moisture level, which many farmers can determine by chewing on a kernel.
The next stage of a wheat plant’s life cycle is harvest, which you can learn all about in our farm’s harvest report. Stay tuned next week for the final installment of the wheat portion of this series.
Does wheat turn into flower?
Wheat is a tall annual that grows to a height of four feet (1.2 meters). Its leaves, which are similar to those of other grasses, appear early and are followed by slender stalks that produce flowers, which produce grains or kernels when fertilized.
What are the growth stages of wheat?
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.
Where does flowering begin on a wheat spike?
The head is pushed out of the flag leaf sheath as the stem lengthens, a stage known as “heading.” Within a few days of heading, flowering (pollination) begins in the head, beginning with the florets in the central spikelets.
What is milking stage of wheat?
The early kernel formation stage (milk development stage 7) begins after flowering is complete and is divided into early, medium, and late milk. The developing endosperm begins as a milky fluid that increases in solids as the milk stage progresses.
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 is the fruit of wheat?
The caryopsis, also known as a grain, is the fruit of the Poaceae (or Gramineae) family, which includes wheat, rice, and corn.
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.
Does wheat have a life cycle?
The vegetative phase, during which leaves and tillers develop; the reproductive phase, during which the reproductive organs, namely the ear and its components develop; and the grain fill stage, are the three main development phases of a wheat plant.
How long does it take for wheat to mature?
Warm-season wheat can mature in as little as 30 days, while overwintered wheat can take up to nine months to mature. Once the grains have turned brown, cut the stalks to just above the ground.
How can you tell if wheat is jointing?
If there is any separation between the growing point and the crown area, the wheat plant is at FHS. FHS can occur anywhere from a few days to a week or more prior to jointing, depending on temperatures.
What is the flowering portion of wheat?
The wheat plant has long, slender leaves and hollow stems in most varieties, and inflorescences with varying numbers of minute flowers ranging from 20 to 100.
What are the stages of oats?
From planting to harvest, the oat crop goes through three distinct phases, which can be described as foundation, construction, and production.
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 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.