The first seeds we broadcast on November 29th were Sonora, a soft white winter wheat, provided by Anson Mills of South Carolina.
The emerging plants, along with the plots of Red Fife and Glenn, seemed to prosper, right up through January 22nd.
On that day, most plants were more than a foot in height, had 3 full leaves and showed more than half of the 4th leaf emerging.
Three weeks later, large swaths of the Sonora had collapsed.
The condition seemed to get worse over the next two weeks.
with some portions of the Red Fife also lying down on the job.
|Red Fife 2/17/13|
Lodging was considered, but that kind of bowing down usually takes places when seed heads are well developed.
There is hope that some of the downed wheat will recover. So far, our plantings of Spelt do not have this problem, and much of the Glenn is standing up. Several rows of newer cultivars in our test plot seem to be doing well.
|Sonora 2nd Planting|
|Sonora 2nd Planting Inflorescence Just Starting|
This jointing phase -- also known as stem elongation -- is when the plants gain most of their height. Perhaps this phase will increase the likelihood that Sonora #2 will stand up straight, and deliver the goods.
We’ll just have to wait and see what we can make of it all, as we maneuver this steep learning curve.
As my grandfather would say when visitors went overboard in describing their problems: "Aye, but worse things happen at sea."