A hard freeze -- with temperatures well into the teens in western Kansas April 9 and expected again April 10 -- will almost certainly damage the wheat crop to some extent, said Jim Shroyer, K-State Research and Extension crop production specialist. Central and eastern Kansas also experienced freezing weather, but temperatures there were mostly in the upper 20s instead of the teens. “The good news is that the wheat crop is not nearly as far along in development as it was at this time last year due to the drought, but any wheat at the jointing stage or later will probably lose some tillers where temperatures were in the teens for an extended time,” Shroyer said."
Where only some of the tillers have been damaged, there is still time for undamaged tillers to compensate and minimize any potential yield loss, but that will depend on having adequate moisture, which is uncertain this year, he added.
Wheat in the jointing stage can usually tolerate temperatures in the mid to upper 20s with no significant injury, Shroyer said. But, if temperatures fall into the low 20s or even lower for several hours, the lower stems, leaves, or developing head can sustain injury.