A drawn out start to the growing season doesn’t necessarily mean a drawn out growing season. Warm days with plenty of sun and mean growing degree days accumulate quickly, sending crops through their growth stages quickly, if the moisture is there. Wheat, and in this case winter wheat, can at times throw a curve ball at farmers — that flag leaf can show up seemingly over night if you’re not watching for it, and the prime window for protecting the leaf surface area from disease can pass quickly.
In this Wheat School episode, Richard Marsh, with Syngenta Canada, walks growers through gauging the growth stage of wheat fields in order to anticipate when they may see the flag leaf. This matters for several reasons: the flag leaf and penultimate leaf are the biggest contributors to yield. Keeping these two leaves green, healthy and protected will conserve the most yield possible out of those already-formed kernels. Marsh also shares tips for disease scouting and coordinating a fungicide application.
(This video was filmed on June 5th, 2014 for context)
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