Hail Damage in Wheat

Originally Published June 23, 2014

Over the last few days, hail has been reported in several areas of Manitoba, potentially impacting the cereal crops in those areas.  Assessing damage will take a few days, and impact will largely depend on stage of the crop and how severe the hail event was, i.e duration of storm, size of hail.

Generally, cereal crops prior to stem elongation can recover, even if there is substantial leaf damage as the growing point is below the soil surface and will likely not be damaged. However, once the growing point is above the soil surface it is susceptible to damage. Hail damage occurring during stem elongation or the boot stage can be difficult to assess. Spikes can still pollinate and fill, and regrowth from new tillers can occur.

Figure 1: Growth Stages in Wheat

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Hail causes the greatest damage to small grains from the boot stage through later stages. For additional information on the Impact of Hail in Cereal Crops refer to the following Crop Chatter post: http://cropchatter.com/impact-of-hail-in-cereal-crops/.

Submitted by: Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, MAFRD

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