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Sponsored: Herbicide Considerations and Updates on Frozen Wheat
Wheat fields throughout the Midwest took off after an unusually warm few weeks of weather, causing our wheat to be much farther along than usual for this time of year. With the exception of southwest Tennessee, temperatures throughout my entire territory dropped significantly last week and were unfortunately cold enough to damage our wheat crop. Last week I presented a webinar on this freeze damage which you can view by clicking here.
Typically by this time of year, our crop would just be beginning to joint. But because of the warmer temperatures, this actually happened one to two weeks ago for most of our fields. When wheat is at Feekes 6, or the joint stage, the growing point moves above ground and is more vulnerable to freezing temperatures. Sustained temperatures at or below 24°F for more than two hours can potentially cause moderate to severe yield loss. Luckily, we had a few things in our favor, the first of which is the lush vegetative growth that most fields have. That vegetation will serve as a buffer zone between the cold air temperatures and the growing point. A second factor in our favor is that we had some moisture in the ground. This ground moisture will also serve as a buffer, slowing the rapid temperature swings.
The best way to assess freeze damage in your wheat is to wait 5 to 7 days (10 to 14 days would be ideal if you can wait) after the temperatures have warmed back up and the wheat is actively growing again before examining the immature wheat. I always start with the main stem on each plant because that part will be the most advanced. Check out the video below for a more in-depth illustration of how to excavate the wheat head.
Another thing to consider before you decide to destroy a wheat crop and plant corn or full season soybeans are the herbicides that have been sprayed on the field.
There are two commonly used herbicides that would prevent you from planting another crop for several months. Those herbicides are Finesse® and PowerFlex®. Planting soybeans could be a potential option, but they would have to be STS (Sulfonylurea Tolerant Soybeans). Another popular herbicide sprayed on wheat for ryegrass control is Osprey®. If Osprey was sprayed, planting corn is not an option for that field and you would need to wait 90 days before planting soybeans.
On the bright side, Axial® has a relatively short plant back interval (PBI) of 90 days for both corn and soybeans and there is no PBI if Harmony® Extra was sprayed.
If you have any questions or would like more information on assessing freeze damage in your wheat fields, do not hesitate to contact me or your local Beck’s representative.
Austin Scott| Field Agronomist and Herbicide Specialist
Finesse® and Harmony® are registered trademarks of Dupont. PowerFlex® is a registered trademark of The Dow Chemical Company. Osprey® is a registered trademark of Bayer. Axial® is a registered trademark of a Syngenta Group Company.