Recent weather forecasts include the potential for temperatures to dip into the low 30's or upper 20's (Fahrenheit) for the next couple of days. Much of the wheat around Kentucky is somewhere between the boot stage and heading, which means temperatures around 28 to 30 degrees could cause damage.

Winter wheat and potential freezing weatherWheat sensitivity to cold temperatures depends on the growth stage (Table 1). If a freeze event occurs, the wheat will need about a week to ten days of good growing conditions before we can assess damage. At that point, we will need to examine the developing heads for noticeable signs of damage or death, the stem for signs of girdling (which could lead to lodging) and the tillers which could produce viable heads.

Remember that Table 1 is a general guideline. If temperatures get low enough to cause damage, close monitoring of the crop is needed to determine actual damage.