High winds this winter have been causing problems with blowing soil and wind erosion. The winds have also been damaging established stands of wheat in some cases, especially on terrace tops and fields with little residue from the previous crop.
The photo below shows damage to wheat on a terrace top after a 50-mph wind earlier this month in western Kansas. The leaves have been “burned” by cold temperature and soil has blown out from under the crowns of the wheat plants, leaving them directly exposed to cold air. It is unlikely this exposed wheat will survive the winter -- not because of the leaf burn but because of the exposed crowns. The crown should be about a half-inch beneath the soil surface. This helps protect it against temperatures in the single digits, which can injure the crown.
Figure 1. Wind and cold damage to wheat in western Kansas in January 2014. Photo by Tanner Ehmke, Lane County producer.
Jim Shroyer, Crop Production Specialist