Was there any effect on the wheat crop as a result of the cold temperatures from last weekend? As I have been looking at wheat fields throughout Ohio this past week, I was worried the cold temperatures might have frozen some of the developing wheat heads. I was especially concerned for areas in southern Ohio where the wheat was further along.
So far, I have not found any heads that have been affected. In the picture below you can see a developing wheat head on a plant that was at Feekes growth stage 6. The head did not appear to have any freeze damage. The fields that would be most susceptible to potential damage would be the early planted fields and early varieties. What I have found is some leaf burn as you can see in the pictures below. This burn should have minimal, if any, effect on yield.
In other wheat news, we are starting to see some insects and diseases. The picture below was taken in southern Ohio near Chillicothe, where we are beginning to see some Septoria leaf blotch. With all the fall growth we saw last year there, along with some of the storm fronts we had that may have brought inoculum, there is a lot of material that would be harboring fungi. This means it could be a year where fungicides pay.
To our south and west they are seeing a disease called wheat stripe rust, which could potentially be something we see. For both Septoria and stripe rust there are differences in product susceptibility, however environmental conditions may still dictate the need to apply a fungicide for control of these diseases. If disease is heavy prior to flag leaf emergence, a fungicide may be necessary to protect it. The flag leaf produces up to 70 percent of the energy for the grain.
As I was walking the fields I also came across a cereal leaf beetle adult. This is something to watch for over the next few weeks as larvae of the beetle can skeletonize leaf tissue.
If you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to contact your local seed advisor or dealer!