Growth Stages of Wheat: Identification and Understanding Improve Crop Management
Understanding growth stages of wheat is important in matching management decisions and inputs with plant development. On the following pages, characteristics and management decisions are outlined that may be associated with indicated stages of plant growth.
There are at least five scales commonly used worldwide to describe stages of growth of wheat and other small grains. The scale used is not important, as long as the grower has a thorough understanding of the growth habit of wheat and how management inputs at specific growth stages can affect forage and grain yield.
Probably the most widely used scale in the U.S. is the Feekes scale, although the Zadoks and Haun scales are more detailed and descriptive. Careful study of the developing crop and an intimate knowledge of factors which may have positive or negative effects on forage and grain yield potential can enhance management decisions. These decisions can make wheat production more profitable.
This article discusses management of the wheat crop in terms of the Feekes growth scale and provides visuals of those growth stages.