If Winter Wheat Has Purple Tips And Reduced Stands, Another Crop May Be Merited

   When wheat fields west of Lamar were scouted on March 12 one thing was noticeable: wheat with purple tips.
   The purple tips were caused by a temporary phosphorus deficiency caused by cold temperatures according to Jill Scheidt, an agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
   “Wheat looked healthy at the crown and was not permanently damaged by the cold temperatures. But, if your plant stand is below 12 to 15 plants per square foot you should consider planting corn or soybeans instead of raising a wheat crop,” said Scheidt.
   Scheidt says if stand counts are adequate to keep but somewhat reduced from optimum, apply nitrogen when plants begin to green up. However, if plants are not green and growing at the time of the nitrogen application, nitrogen will be wasted and not taken up efficiently.
   With possible snow in the forecast, nitrogen can be applied before snow. If nitrogen is applied and snow does occur it will help the nitrogen have better soil contact therefore reducing the chances of volatization.
   Field crop scouting found just a few aphids according to Scheidt.
   “Aphids usually stay near the crown and are not active until temperatures reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Look for aphids near the base of the plant when temperatures are lower, otherwise they will be on the underside of the leaf,” said Scheidt.∆
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