Colder weather may take its toll on wheat

During the last several days, you have probably been hearing folks talk about what these cold temperatures will do to the wheat with the dry soil conditions. There are a couple of factors that affect winterkill in wheat. They are: how established the wheat plant is, the depth of the crown of the wheat plant, how long the cold temperatures last and how wet the soil is when it gets cold.

First, lets discuss the moisture of the soil. The greatest injury can occur when the soil is very dry. Dry soil warms up and cools down six times faster than moist soil. Loose seedbeds at seeding also dry out faster and hence cool down and warm up more rapidly, contributing to winter injury.

Now, if you look at the drought monitor for Kansas, the whole state is classified as at least abnormally dry. That is what northwest Kansas is; however, at least we have a bit of moisture that soaked in from the snow before Christmas. However, a pretty good chunk of southwest Kansas is labeled as moderate or severe drought. Their wheat may be more at risk because of the dry conditions. In addition to moisture, a layer of snow also provides insulation to the cold temperatures.

Second, lets discuss the growth stage of the wheat plant. Winter wheat plants with a good crown root system and two or more tillers can tolerate the cold temperatures better than less developed plants. Now, I wouldn’t say that we have great secondary root systems (roots that come off the crown area of the plant), but all in all they are not too bad.

Third, the depth of the crown is something that I have seen play a big role in wheat’s ability to survive the winter. Winter wheat seeded shallowly will have the crown closer to the soil surface and be much more susceptible to winter injury. Exposed crowns on terraces or slopes have a greater chance of suffering winter injury. Also, if you have wheat drilled into a thick mat of residue, the crown may be placed quite shallow. That is because the crown will begin to develop when the plant sees sunlight. If the plant has to grow through a thick layer of residue, the crown may end up being placed in that residue. Unfortunately, the residue doesn’t provide much protection to the crown of the plant from cold temperatures because of the air pockets and fluffy nature of it.

Finally, let’s discuss the duration of the cold temperatures. Right now, the wheat is at its maximum tolerance to the cold temperatures. The wheat freeze chart shows that injurious temperatures to wheat during the winter are -5 to -10 degrees. This is for the temperature at the crown of the wheat plant.

All in all, the smaller wheat with a less developed root system and shallow crown placement is the most susceptible to winter injury from the cold temperatures. Time and warmer temperatures will tell us how the wheat has responded to the cold temperatures. I have dug up some wheat and brought inside to see how it greens up and develops roots. I will let you know what I find out!

I have posted the wheat freeze chart on the K-State Sunflower District Agronomy website at www.sunflower. ksu.edu/agronomy. If you have any questions, please get ahold of me at the K-State Sunflower District Extension Offices in St. Francis, Sharon Springs or Goodland.

AGNEWS

Farm Credit Seeking Scholarship Applicants

Colby, Kansas - The Board of Directors of Farm Credit of Western Kansas, ACA is pleased to announce the continuation of the Farm Credit Scholarship program.  Each year Farm Credit chooses two High School Seniors to receive a $750 per year scholarship which is renewable for... [More]

Premiere Soil Health Conference

Two Weeks Left for Registration to Premiere Soil Health Conference  Just two weeks remain to register for the 22nd annual No-till on the Plains Winter Conference, the premier North American soil health conference. Online registration will close January 25th also marking... [More]

DO YOU KNOW? About Children and Internet Safety 2

First of all, adults and children alike face several risks when they go online. Crimes and scams, such as sexual predation and identity theft, are everywhere. The National Council on Safety recommends the following tips to stay safe on the Internet. Take an active role in protecting... [More]

Regional Farmers’ Market Workshops Scheduled

The Kansas Department of Agriculture, K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment will host five regional workshops in  February 2018 to assist farmers’ market vendors and managers. Kansas farmers’ markets not only provide... [More]

More Agnews

    NEWS

    Grund honored with All-American Award

    Callahan Grund has had an amazing season as a member of the Kansas State University Livestock Judging Team. This fall the team attended the Flint Hills Mid-America Classic in Hutchison, where the team brought home the Reserve Champion... [More]

    CDC reports - influenza cases are on the rise

    Kansas is experiencing increased influenza cases in most regions of the state.  Influenza surveillance conducted by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment indicates that flu infections are rising in Kansas.  Specimens tested have been positive for both Influenza... [More]

    "Forever Young" Coming to Colby

    Live from Branson, Missouri, join the stars of Forever Young as they bring you on a journey through the best eras of modern music. Featuring a talented troupe of singers and performers, this show is sure to dazzle and impress. Bringing back a nostalgic feel reminiscent of garage... [More]

    SHPTV PBS Kids announces Writers Contest

    Children have incredible imaginations and what better way to foster that imagination, than for them to write their own stories. We would like to invite you to join Smoky Hills Public Television as we encourage children in central and western... [More]

    Clifford the Big Red Dog is Heading to Hays

    Smoky Hills Public Television’s Family Fun Day will return to Hays next month. This free event will be held at Big Creek Crossing February 10 from 10am to 1pm. During the event, children will be able to take a picture with Clifford. Parents are encouraged to bring a camera.... [More]

    Wallace County Foundation reaches matching fund goal

    Thanks to all of the donors -- individuals, civic and other nonprofit groups, businesses, and nonresidents with ties to Wallace County -- the Wallace County Foundation will be able to capture the Dane G. Hansen Foundation $50,000 in matching funds for the endowment.... [More]

    Pioneer Communications Provides over $14K in Scholarships to Area Youth

    Pioneer Communications will provide over $14,000 in local scholarships to high school students in southwest Kansas communities.  Six Earl B. Williams and Joseph B. Chilen Memorial Scholarships worth $1,500 each will be awarded to area seniors within Pioneer Communications’... [More]

    More News

    BUGLE NOTES

    Bugle Notes - 1860 Spencer Carbine & Guardians of Ft Wallace

     The Fort Wallace Memorial Association is excited to launch a new venture for 2018! Our organization is starting a new “Fundraising Arm” of the original private non-profit called “The Guardians of the Fort Wallace Museum.” This new annual membership... [More]

    Bugle Notes - Community Vision Award

    The Fort Wallace Memorial Association was honored this past December 16 at the Light Up Wallace County event with a Community Vision Award from the Wallace County Foundation. We really appreciate this recognition of the efforts put in this past year on the new Milford Becker... [More]

    Bugle Notes....News from the Fort Wallace Museum

    Are you ready to ring in the Christmas Season? Come join us in Wallace this Sunday at 5 pm MST for a special Candlelight Christmas service at the 1888 Bethany Lutheran Church! The traditional service with Swedish influence will be joined with the sounds of the men’s ac... [More]

    Bugle Notes....News from the Fort Wallace Museum

    One ongoing project undertaken this fall by the Fort Wallace Memorial Association is planning for a new home for the Rhea Pump Organ Collection. These 55-plus pump and reed organs were donated to the Fort Wallace Museum, but are currently in storage until a permanent home can... [More]

    Bugle Notes....News from the Fort Wallace Museum

    Even though the peak travel season is behind us, we are still having several visitors a day into the Museum! And there are several events planned for this winter! Make plans to join us at the Museum for a very special Christmas observance and party on Sunday, December 10 at... [More]

    Bugle Notes....News from the Fort Wallace Museum

    We here at the Fort Wallace Museum enjoyed a weekend of learning more about antique weaponry, as well as some delicious food and fellowship! Although noted expert Greg Higginbotham was unable to make the drive from Independence, Missouri, due to serious illness, the “show... [More]

    More Bugle Notes