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Monitoring soil temp in winter wheat fields

Pam de Rocquigny, Cereal Crops Specialist

Feb. 4, 2014 - In the news, we've all heard how the 2013/14 winter has been one of the coldest in recent years. I had my first "how is this cold weather affecting my winter wheat" calls already this year.

Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) weather stations measure real time soil temperatures but they are not located in actual winter wheat fields. To get real time monitoring, Mike Wroblewski, MAFRD's ag meteorologist, and I worked with some of the farm production advisors to identify four winter wheat fields to have temporary weather stations installed. (Click here.) There are four sites – Morris, Teulon, Beausejour and Birtle (Note: Birtle isn't showing but is collecting data).

We also collaborated with Ducks Unlimited Canada, University of Saskatchewan and Western Ag to provide Manitoba data for two of the four sites (Morris and Teulon) to update the Winter Cereal Survival Model.

Take the time to read the How to Use the Model section as it provides valuable information.

Remember, the Winter Cereal Survival Model should be used as a guideline only. Regardless of the model results, the winter wheat stand should be scouted in the spring, once it has had an opportunity to re-grow.