Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wait 3 to 5 Days Before Assessing Freeze Damage

Contact: Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist
Headquartered at Barton County Extension Center
Tel: (417) 682-3579

LAMAR, Mo. –Wheat in the jointing stage becomes sensitive to freeze damage at 26 to27 degrees Fahrenheit. However, wheat prior to jointing is not likely to be affected by frost or freeze according to Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“I scouted fields on April 16 west and south of Liberal,” said Scheidt. “If temperatures remain at 24 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours or more, the frost is likely to cause some damage. It is best to wait 3 to 5 days before assessing damage. You may need to wait longer if cool days follow the frost because the plants’ recovery may be slow.”

After 3 to 5 days new leaf tissue should be visible if the plant was not damaged.

If wheat is at the jointing stage, and if nitrogen is needed, Scheidt says it should be applied now in order for nitrogen to be efficiently used by wheat.

With corn, the growing point is protected under the ground until the fifth leaf stage and corn should be able to recover from a frost without any yield loss according to Scheidt.

“If the frost penetrates deep in the soil, there is a possibility of damage to the plants,” said Scheidt.

Herbicides and insecticides should not be applied in temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

“When the temperatures are lower than 60 degrees plants are not actively growing and insects are not active, so pesticides will not effectively be taken up by the pest,” said Scheidt.

The weekly field scouting report is sponsored by University of Missouri Extension and Barton County Extension. For more information on this scouting report, or to learn how to receive it a week earlier by telephone, contact the MU Extension Center in Barton County, (417) 682-3579.


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