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For those who have wheat, the start of January means we have to be paying attention to our crop now. As you may know, there are some basic guidelines to follow to keep things rolling through the next couple of months.



Growth Stage


Scout and spray for ryegrass



Assess stands



Do stand counts



First N application


At this stage in growth development, the main thing to remember is your wheat stand is still tillering. It is critically important at this time to get out there and assess the crop’s development and look for weeds. Weeds right now—especially ryegrass—must be controlled. You may opt for Axial at a rate of 16.4 oz. (be sure to refer to the label for specifics.) Do not tank mix with 2,4-D

It is also a good time to do stand counts. This will influence your spring Nitrogen (N) application times and N rates. For now, just get out there and see how your wheat is doing and be on the lookout for weeds.

The Cold Hard Truth

Much like last year, cold temperatures took hold of much of the United States as we welcomed the new year. While there are advantages to a dip in temperatures—insect control, for example—it can be worrisome because it could damage our wheat fields.

The extent of damage depends on the growth and development stage the wheat crop is in when the temperatures hit. The positive news is wheat that is well-developed, fully tillered (but not jointed), and hardened off can withstand temperatures in the low teens with minimal damage. At this stage, the growing point is still below ground level, and it would take temperatures around zero to kill the plants.

Wheat that is fully tillered and has not jointed should not sustain much yield loss and probably fairly minor leaf tissue damage. If any wheat has jointed (has nodes above the ground), it will be damaged by temperatures that remain below 25 degrees for several hours. The stems may freeze at growing points below the node and be girdled and killed.

It is not expected that a large amount of wheat has reached these advanced stages; therefore, damage should be minimal. If this does occur, the stems will be discolored, and the tillers will bleach out and die as warmer weather arrives. The good news is this early in the growing season, the yield loss may still be relatively minor, even if primary tillers are lost.

Kudos to all of you who are ready to jump back in. To those who are not, it's okay. We still have a little bit of time. But planting season will be here before we know it, so be sure to have your ducks in a row. Talk to your Armor Seed Sales Agronomist or Sales Representative soon and put a plan in place!

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