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Weather Forecast

Mar 8, 2017

Threat of Freeze

According to the National Weather Service, we are now in ENSO-neutral for spring 2017 (La Nina ended in February, and they predict El Nino conditions to return after the summer). The prediction for above average temperatures continues throughout the spring. The wheat crop in Texas and other states is greening up much more quickly than normal. Some fields are already at Feekes 6-7 (jointing), which is the stage where the growing point rises above the soil surface. This leaves the growing point vulnerable to damage, especially freeze damage. There are even a few off-type plants in most fields that have already headed out and flowered. I've also heard of a wheat field in the Blacklands that is already 50% headed. 

There's always the possibility that we could not have a freeze, or temperatures won't be low enough for long enough to affect the plants. The chart below shows what stages of wheat can be injured by freezing temperatures. At least 2 hours of these temperatures is needed to cause injury.

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