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Freeze injury update 15 April 2014

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David Marburger

David Marburger

Since April 2016, I have served as the Small Grains Extension Specialist at Oklahoma State University. My research and extension efforts focus on delivering science-based recommendations in order to increase small grains production and profitability for stakeholders throughout Oklahoma and the southern Great Plains.

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I have posted a few images from the Oklahoma Mesonet below. Most of Oklahoma spent at least four hours below freezing last night and some areas spent an extended period of time below 28F. While temperatures in the wheat canopy might have remained slightly higher than reported air temperatures, they were still probably low enough to result in significant injury to wheat.

Over the next few days growers will need to inspect fields closely to determine the extent of injury. Symptoms may start to appear later this week and will likely be clearly identifiable by early next week. Healthy wheat heads will remain turgid with a green color. Damaged wheat heads will be bleached, yellow, or brown and will easily break when pushed against. I anticipate that we will not have any partial “blanking” of wheat heads and that most wheat heads will either be okay or a complete loss.

What about new tillers? New tillers might emerge, but it is already April 15. In addition we have very dry soil conditions. For these reasons I am doubtful that newly emerging tillers will have much yield potential in areas south of I-40. IF (and that is a big if) weather conditions remain favorable, late emerging tillers in northern Oklahoma might still have a shot at producing grain.

I will survey some fields in a few days and report back with my findings. If you are interested in receiving weather maps and updates such as the ones posted below, subscribe to the OCS Mesonet Ticker by emailing ticker@mesonet.org

Hours below freezing on April 15, 2014

Hours below freezing on April 15, 2014

Hours below 28 F on April 15, 2014

Hours below 28 F on April 15, 2014

Hours below 24F on April 15, 2014

Hours below 24F on April 15, 2014

 


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