Scouting for Freeze Injury in North Carolina Winter Wheat

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Wheat plots

Whole plot in Rowan County where wheat leaf tips are bronzed and necrotic from freeze injury

From the Office of Dr. Angela Post

Several nights of freezing temperatures March 10th thru March 17th damaged the winter wheat crop throughout North Carolina. Some areas were more severely injured than others. The official variety test sites located in six North Carolina counties experienced temperatures below freezing between 35 and 92 hours in total over a period of 7 days. In scouting this week we have seen injury from almost zero in areas where the crop is just barely jointed, to complete losses where the wheat crop was getting close to the boot stage. It is important to scout each field over the course of the next several days to assess the extent of damage and make important management decisions. Damage to the crop will be site specific and related to the severity and duration of the freeze event at your location. We will still make wheat in many areas of the state, but scouting should be careful and deliberate to make sure we are not giving up on fields that will still make decent yields through secondary tillering. See the attached pdf for scouting tips and images of damaged verses healthy tillers. You may also access our website to see continuing updates on the wheat crop throughout the season:

And follow us on Twitter for updates from the field: @NCGrainTallk

Link to Publication: Scouting for Freeze Injury in Winter Wheat