Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mid-February Wheat Update

February 13, 2013 visit to Maggie's Farm
       Our initial plantings of Sonora, Red Fife, and Glenn have now had 76 days to grow and are into their fourth leaf.  The Glenn and Red Fife are about 18” tall and seem to be into the stem elongation, or ‘jointing’ phase. 

The soft white Sonora is taller, has a surprising number of tillers, but seems to be only starting the jointing phase.


 The second planting session, 13 days after the first, is also doing well, with the more recently developed Maverick Spelt continuing to do better than the traditional Oberkulmer. 
They are both filling in some of their gaps, and are about a foot tall.  The next-door, 2nd planting of Sonora is at 18” or 20”, and the 2nd plot of Glenn, which was planted a bit deeper, is not quite that tall, but does have more leaf development and seems quite vigorous.

 Our little test plot has some successes, though the intruding nettles are competing aggressively. 

 The four northernmost rows, ML EM118-Z-G, Clear White, India-Jammu, and Louise are almost a foot and a half tall, with Louise the current leader by a couple of inches. 

All are modern cultivars released since 2005. 

The southern portion of the test plot, where many of the older varieties were being grown, is not doing as well.  Even the nettles seem to have given up, so that may not be as promising an area to grow grain.

Biggest surprises of our visit – saved for last – were the large areas of our first planting that were matted down. 

Knowledgeable wheat growers are looking at the pictures and speculating on the likely cause.

 Readers of this blog are invited to comment with guesses, whether it’s heavy weather, wildlife intrusions, crop circles, or something else.  We’ll get some pictures in a few days and see whether they’ve lifted themselves up.

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