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:
- 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.
- Make sure to count the number of stems in several areas of the field.
- 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)