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Most Southwest wheat acreage expected to escape cold snaps with little freeze injury.
Wheat plots, forefront, in the High Plains appear to have little to no damage from extreme cold temperatures, however oats, middle of picture, at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research trials near Bushland show damage.
Oklahoma Extension wheat specialist Jeff Edwards says freeze injury ranges from moderate to severe.
“The damage is not as widespread or severe as I thought it would be given that most of our wheat had not had an opportunity to harden off,” Edwards said. “The dry soil conditions in western and southern Oklahoma did not help the situation, as there was not sufficient soil moisture to buffer the temperature shift in the top few inches of soil.”
He expects little yield loss from the last cold snap. “Freeze injury at this stage of growth (tillering) rarely impacts grain yield, but, as always, there are a few exceptions. Wheat that was very small or late-sown is more susceptible to winter kill. Similarly, wheat that does not have a good root system or that was shallow sown due to crop residue is more susceptible to winter kill.”
He recommends that farmers wait a few days after more favorable growing conditions to assess damage. “Plants with regrowth that is green and healthy should make a full recovery, and this will be the case for most Oklahoma wheat fields.”