The wheat has really progressed well over the past two weeks. That short January cold snap had much of the wheat across the state looking very rough. However, since that time it has really come along well and looks to be in very good shape.
The wheat maturity stage across Tennessee varies. Much of the variance is due to sowing wheat into the dry soil conditions last fall. The dry soil was a cause for delay in wheat establishment in some fields or areas of fields. This variability is even more magnified in fields that were seeded with a spreader and then tilled in. In some cases, seed left on top of the soil took a week or more to germinate compared to other seed with good seed soil contact. This is why we find wheat at different maturity stages in the same field.
The wheat fields that were able to obtain a good uniform early stand really look good. The wheat in these fields are well on the way to getting to first node. This maturity stage of wheat is a major cut-off point for many herbicides used in wheat.
Herbicides like metribuzin, dicamba, PowerFlex, Finesse and Osprey should not be applied to wheat past the first node stage. Dicamba is a good example of this as applications after the first wheat node can later cause poor wheat head formation.
Harmony, 2,4-D, MCPA and Axial can be applied later than the first wheat node. Axial, 2,4-D and MCPA can be applied to wheat up to the pre-boot stage and Harmony can be applied to wheat up to the flag leaf stage.