‘No Major Concerns’ With Indiana Wheat

The focus right now is on getting corn and soybeans in the ground, but Indiana’s winter wheat might need some attention too.
In the latest Purdue Crop Chat podcast, Purdue Extension Soybean and Small Grains Specialist Shaun Casteel is asked if he’s seen any damage following recent freeze and frost conditions across the state to our winter wheat.
“[Winter wheat] can still withstand some pretty severe cold temperatures. So, like 24° before we see any damage. We haven’t seen that. I mean, if we have, it’s been very isolated.”
In last week’s USDA crop progress report, 75% of the wheat crop was rated in good to excellent condition with 5% headed.
“I’m guessing there’s probably going to be about 5% to 10% of heading that has a little bit of some evidence of cold. It’s not injury, but cold presence is how I’ll put it. What’s going to end up happening on this next 10 to 20% that’s going to start emerging and heading, that cold temperature actually causes that stem to stay tight. It doesn’t open up as well. So, as that head comes out, a lot of times they can get snagged. And so that doesn’t cause damage, it just causes some unusual looking heads.”
Casteel says that head may look more like an “S” than a pencil or cigar like usual.
“If we see any damage to this wheat that’s headed, think about where the flowers come out on a wheat. It comes out in the middle, not at the tips. And so, if there is going to be damage, you’d look weeks from now at the middle of that grain head instead of the tips. At this point, I really don’t see any major concerns with the temperatures we’ve had.”
We discuss corn and soybeans too with Casteel and Purdue Extension Corn Specialist Dan Quinn in the Purdue Crop Chat podcast. Download it below, or wherever you listen to podcasts, and take it in the planter with you.

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