Friday, March 21, 2014

Wheat Development Delayed about 2 Weeks this Year

Carrie Knott, Extension Agronomist-Princeton, University of Kentucky

We all know that this year has been an unusually cold year.  I am sure many if not all of you have visited your wheat fields to determine the effect this year has had on wheat growth and development.  At the University of Kentucky Research and Education Center at Princeton, KY, visually the wheat crop is about 2 or 3 weeks delayed. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Significant Nitrogen losses suspected in Kentucky Wheat Crop

Edwin Ritchey, Extension Soil Scientist-Princeton, University of Kentucky
Carrie Knott, Extension Agronomist-Princeton, University of Kentucky
Lloyd Murdock, emeritus, University of Kentucky

Unseasonably cold temperatures and frequent precipitation events this winter have presented very unique wheat management problems for Kentucky producers. The soil throughout much of Kentucky remained frozen until the end of February, which resulted in delayed wheat development. As of today, much of the state has only reached Feekes 2 or 3. This is the recommended growth stage to make the first application of nitrogen (N) for producers that utilize a split N application program for winter wheat production. Compared to most years, this represents about a 2-3 week delay in growth. Some producers began applying N on frozen ground in late January to reduce potential soil compaction issues later in the season and to provide flexibility for later management operations. Unfortunately, several rain events occurred after N application while the soil was still frozen and which increased the potential for N loss with surface runoff water.