Extreme changes in temperature are the biggest concern wheat producers have for the development of their crop this season, a Purdue Extension agronomist said.
Temperatures in recent weeks have risen to between 50 and 60 degrees and then dropped to single digits.
“The cycling of cold to warm temperatures is a great recipe for freezing, thawing and winter heaving,” Shaun Casteel said.
Winter heaving occurs when moisture in the soil expands as it freezes and then contracts as the ice thaws. The soil gets pushed up and down, shoving young plants higher out of the ground and exposing roots. The plants’ lack of access to soil moisture and soil contact could result in stand loss, Casteel said.
Another weather concern is that there has been little snow to protect wheat from extreme cold.
“A lot of wheat fields no longer have a blanket of snow for insulation, and they’re exposed to the cold weather,” Casteel said.… Continue readingRead More »