MSU Extension Ag Alerts
Expect frost damage from recent cold snapClick here to print alert
Freezing temperatures during the spring may cause leaf tips to turn yellow and necrotic (Figure 1). During stem elongation, cold temperatures may damage the stem and cause it t o split or cause damage to the vascular system (water and nutrient transport), which will cause the stem to collapse and lodge. The damaged area on the stem may be bleached and water-soaked. The growing point or spike may be damaged with few symptoms on the stem. The emergence of chlorotic leaves from the whorl may indicate that the developing spike has been killed. More leaves will become chlorotic as the culm deteriorates. Primary symptoms of freeze injury to wheat at spring growth stages and its effect on yield are listed in Table 1. Further information on freeze injury symptoms in wheat can be found in the publication from Kansas State University “Spring Freeze Injury to Kansas Wheat,” here.
Freeze injury during stem elongation can damage the developing heads and result in shriveled, deformed, and pale heads. More information on freeze injury symptoms in barley (and oats) can be found in the “Frost identification guide for cereals” published by the Government of Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the Grains Research and Development Corporation and can be found here.
The most recognizable symptom of freeze injury on pea leaves is the death of interveinal tissue, which appears water-soaked at first and then turns necrotic brown. Young leaves may be affected entirely and have a scorched appearance. Chickpeas are generally more sensitive to freeze injury than lentils. From a distance, the top leaves of injured plants turn yellow to white and appear dry. Sometimes only the leaf margins dry up and appear scorched without developing lesions of definite shape or size. More information on freeze injury symptoms in pulse crops (canola, and lupine) can be found in the “Frost identification guide for canola and pulses” published by the Government of Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the Grains Research and Development Corporation and can be found here.