With much of the winter wheat crop across Ohio approaching critical growth stages for crucial management decision-making, a wheat expert from the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University offers a series of YouTube videos that demonstrate how growers can correctly identify their crops’ various growth stages.
The series is designed as a tool to help growers understand the various stages of wheat growth and to know what management strategies can be used during each growth stage, said Pierce Paul, an Ohio State University Extension wheat researcher.
The videos, which begin with wheat at Feekes Growth Stage 6, show the key growth stages of wheat throughout the growing season, said Paul, who is also a plant pathologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.
Growers need to know how to judge wheat’s growth stages so they can make appropriate decisions on when to apply nitrogen and herbicides and whether they will need to apply a fungicide, Paul said.
Understanding wheat’s growth stages also helps growers judge the potential for injury to their plant stands under the recent cold snap that hit the region, he said.
“Failure to correctly identify wheat growth stages could lead to improper timing of fertilizer and herbicide applications, which could lead to ineffective use of these inputs and even crop injury,” Paul said. “Plus, knowing the growth stage is important for assessing whether the crop is at risk for freezing injury — wheat at Feekes 6 and later are more prone to injury than wheat between Feekes 4 and 5.”
The first video, Feekes Growth Stage 6, can be viewed at go.osu.edu/feekes6.
Feekes Growth Stages 7 and 8 can be viewed at go.osu.edu/feekes78. Identifying Feekes Growth Stages 9 and 10 can be viewed at go.osu.edu/feekes910. Identifying wheat heading can be viewed at go.osu.edu/wheatheading and a video on wheat flowering can be viewed at go.osu.edu/wheatflowering.