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Department of Agronomy

Kansas State University

1712 Claflin Rd.

2004 Throckmorton PSC

Manhatan, KS 66506



Extension Agronomy

New wheat growth and development poster from K-State

A new poster titled “Wheat Growth and Development” has just been published by K-State Research and Extension. The poster can be seen at: http://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF3300.pdf

The poster lists the primary growth and development stages of wheat, with illustrations of each stage. It describes the growth stage, and discusses what is happening physiologically.

Author of the poster is Romulo Lollato, K-State Wheat and Forages Specialist. Kansas Wheat supported the production of this poster.

The following excerpts are from the poster, focusing on the stages of growth that occur in the fall, from germination to winter dormancy.  





Seeds absorb water and oxygen. The radicle, seminal roots, and the coleoptile (leaflike structure enclosing the first true leaf) emerge from the seed. Temperatures between 54 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit are optimal for germination.

Feekes 1

Emergence. Light above the soil stops coleoptile growth. The first true leaf emerges through the tip of the coleoptile. Three leaves fully develop before tillering initiation. The seminal rooting system develops. The crown forms between the seed and soil surface.

Feekes 2

Tillering initiation. Tillers are initially encased in a protective structure called the prophyll. If there are three leaves visible, a tiller will be at the base of the first leaf. Fall-formed tillers contribute more to grain yield than spring-formed tillers. The secondary rooting system starts to develop.

Feekes 3

Continued tillering. Primary tillers develop in the axils of the first four or more true leaves of the main stem. Secondary tillers may develop from the base of primary tillers. Tiller development is prioritized based on their sequential formation. The development of the secondary rooting system increases extensively.

Winter dormancy

Vernalization. Gradually lowering temperatures induce winter hardiness in winter wheat. Vernalization requirements range from three to six weeks of temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.


A hard copy of the poster, which is 20 inches wide and 30 inches long, can be ordered from K-State at no charge. There is a limited supply.

To order, see: http://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Category.aspx?id=2&catId=299


Romulo Lollato, Wheat and Forages Specialist