Ohio: Winter Wheat Stand Evaluation

Feekes 5 growth stage (leaf sheaths strongly erect) is a good time to evaluate winter wheat stand. Over the past two years, with funding from the Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program, we evaluated the relationship between wheat stems (main stem + tillers) and yield.

Keep in Mind:

  1. In our research, we counted the number of wheat stems which included both the main stem (main plant) and tillers. For example, in Figure 1, there are two stems.
  2. Make sure to count the number of stems in several areas of the field.
  3. In our research, stem counts at Feekes 5 growth stage predicted wheat yield better than stem counts at Feekes 6 growth stage (first node visible).

The relationship between the number of wheat stems and yield is shown in Table 1 and is based on the data shown in Figure 2.

Table 1. Wheat grain yield and corresponding number of wheat stems.

Wheat Grain Yield


Wheat Stems in Square Foot


Wheat Steams in Linear Foot of Row

(stems/foot of row)

100 118 74
90 90 56
80 69 43
70 51 32
60 37 23

Click Image to Enlarge

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