Cold damage in Michigan’s wheat should be limited

Michigan State University Extension’s wheat specialist expects minimal damage from this week’s cold temperatures to winter wheat.

Dennis Pennington tells Brownfield wheat is at risk of damage when temperatures dip below 24 degrees Fahrenheit at the jointing stage for several hours.

“It’s highly localized, whether you’re in a high spot, low spot, whether you had any wind or not,” he says.

He estimates seventy percent of Michigan’s wheat crop is at risk of injury, but the forecast suggests warmer temps ahead.

“It’s looking like the risk is reduced but you never can tell what Mother Nature might send our way,” he cautions.

Pennington recommends growers wait five to seven days from frost and freeze events to assess any potential damage and work with their crop insurance agent if necessary.

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