Friday, July 7, 2017 now Hosting All Updates

Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist and Director, Grain and Forage Center of Excellence, University of Kentucky

Timely articles and posts from your friends on the University of Kentucky Grains Extension Team are now available at That website is mobile-first, meaning that it is designed for access from smart phones and tablets. At that site, we also include our more recent and relevant grains extension publications. is a partnership between the University of Kentucky, The Kentucky Corn Growers Association, the Kentucky Soybean Board and the Kentucky Small Grains Growers Association. In addition to publications and posts from University of Kentucky Extension folks, you are likely to see some posts and updates relevant to the partner organizations. We hope you have enjoyed getting updates from the Grain Crops Update blog. We hope you will enjoy even more. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Colette Laurent, UK Grain Crops Coordinator
The annual UK WHEAT FIELD DAY is slated for Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at the UK Research Farm in Princeton. (1205 Hopkinsville St., Princeton, KY 42445).  Registration will begin at 8:00 am (CDT) and the trailers will load at 8:45 (CDT). The tour will conclude with a lunch sponsored by the Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association.
Approved Credits include CCA: (1NM, 1CM, 1PM) and  Pesticide Hours: 1 General, 1 Specific (Category 1A, 10, 12).


Wheat Variety Trials (Walk Through)  
¨Dr. Dave Van Sanford ¨Bill Bruening
UAV Use in Wheat Production 
¨Dr. Tim Stombaugh ¨Peterson Farm 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fungicide application for protection against scab – what do I do when I can’t hit the “perfect” timing?

Carl A. Bradley, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Kentucky

Just like the porridge in the “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” story, there is a “just right” timing for when to apply a fungicide for protection against Fusarium head blight (a.k.a. scab) of wheat. That “just right” timing is the Feekes 10.5.1 growth stage (beginning flowering), when anthers are just beginning to extrude from the middle part of the wheat head. Unfortunately, not all main stems and tillers will be at this stage at the exact same time, but when 50% of the wheat heads are at this Feekes 10.5.1 growth stage, that is considered the “just right” timing for applying a fungicide for protection against Fusarium head blight.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


 Greg Halich, Extension Economist, University of Kentucky

A severe freeze in mid-March has likely damaged much of the wheat crop in Kentucky. The extent and severity of the damage will be better known one to two weeks after the freeze when baseline estimates can be made. Normally, producers would have three options to deal with wheat stands that have been damaged at this stage:
1) Stay the course, harvest the wheat and then double-crop soybeans.
2) Terminate the wheat stand and plant corn.
3) Terminate the wheat stand and plant full-season soybeans.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

2017 Corn Planting Recommendations

Carrie Knott, Extension Agronomist-Princeton, University of Kentucky
Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist, University of Kentucky

Corn planting for much of Kentucky is quickly approaching. Given the mild winter, average soil temperatures across Kentucky for the month of March are approximately 51°F. This is similar to last year’s average soil temperature of 52°F for the same period (March 1 to 25). However, it is several degrees warmer than the 10-year average of 48°F.

There are several things to consider before planting Kentucky’s 2017 corn crop:

1. The risk of the last spring freeze ranges from April 2 to April 29 in most years (50% probability; Table 1).

Friday, March 24, 2017

2017 UK Wheat Field School - EMERGENCY FREEZE EVENT Sessions Available Online

Edwin Ritchey, Extension Soil Specialist, University of Kentucky

Photo credit: Katie Pratt, UK Agricultural Communications

Video footage from the Wheat Field School – EMERGENCY FREEZE EVENT TRAINING is now available online. The training held on Tuesday March 21, 2017 at the UKREC in Princeton was broadcast live and recorded on Zoom. Click on the links below to view recorded sessions.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Varietal Differences in Freeze Damage

Dave Van Sanford, Wheat Breeding and Genetics, University of Kentucky and Bill Bruening, Small Grain Variety Testing, University of Kentucky
The wheat varieties we grow in KY will respond differently to the extremely low temperatures we have experienced over the past few days. Several traits come into play but the most important thing
for the grower to consider at this point is growth habit, which can range from completely prostrate to very upright.

Most of the wheat varieties grown in KY develop at a rate that is determined by heat units accumulated, which we commonly refer to as Growing Degree Days (GDD). These varieties were pushed by the unusually warm temperatures we experienced in February, so that many of them had reached jointing (Feekes 6) or beyond when the severe freezes began. A much smaller percentage of our wheat varieties are held back by sensitivity to daylength. These daylength sensitive varieties will not joint until they reach a daylength threshold – i.e. a minimum no. of hours of daylight. Such sensitive varieties remain prostrate in their growth habit until the threshold is reached and thus the growing point remains near the soil surface and is much more protected than the growing point in an upright variety at jointing or beyond.