WHEAT UPDATE: Why Vernalization Is Important
Vernalization is a question that perplexes most people when it comes to managing wheat. Vernalization is the number of chilling hours (less than 45 degrees) required for the wheat to go into reproductive mode. This is not the heading of wheat but rather it affects the formation of the wheat head within the first node of the wheat tillers.
For reference, the photo below shows the developing wheat head at the tip of the lower toothpick (white area in the middle).
Each wheat variety has a specific vernalization requirement that is usually associated with the length of maturity. Additionally, location and weather affect the number of cool hours available.
So, for any given location (especially the deep south), plant later maturing varieties first, med-late maturities next, and early maturing varieties last.
UGA has a great weather site that will allow you to check chilling hours for your specific location. Click on the link below to access the “calculator” and select “chilling hours” from the drop down. Fill in your location and dates. http://www.georgiaweather.net/?content=calculator&variable=ch&type=cd
Additionally, Mississippi State also has a great article on chilling hours also: http://extension.msstate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/publications/P3067_1.pdf
If you have any questions, please give us a call!
GA Office: 229-734-5466
SC Office: 803-531-1777
The Mixon Team