Wheat Tissue Sampling

— Written By and last updated by Elisabeth Purser
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Happy New Year! With the New Year beginning, the dormancy stage of wheat will soon end, which means it is nearing time for tissue sampling.

Wheat Stem In Person's Hand Being Measured By a Ruler

At Zadoks GS 30 (Feekes GS 5), the growing point will be1/2 inch above the crown. At this stage of growth, the stem has begun to elongate and leaf sheathes are erect.

If you are tissue sampling wheat, to send to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, timing is everything. The analysis done by the NCDA&CS is made specifically for wheat at Zadoks GS30 (Feekes PS 5). So before you take samples this year check and make sure your wheat is at the right group stage before you take samples so your nutrient recommendation is as accurate as possible. To do this, go into your field and pull a few plants, from multiple areas in your field. 

Person Cutting Stem of Wheat with a small knife

Split Stem to Locate Growing Point

Take a plant and carefully split the stem with a knife starting at the crown to locate the growing Point inside. This growing point will look like a tiny green pinecone. If they’re growing point is a half an inch above the crown then your wheat is at Zadoks GS30 (Feekes PS 5) and is at the appropriate time to take tissue samples. Do this for multiple areas in your field to make sure all of the field is at the same growth stage.

Person holding white growing point of wheat between his thumb and index finger

The growing point at Zadoks GS 30 (Feekes GS 5) looks
like a tiny green pine cone and is 1/2 inch above the

If you have any questions or need more information about wheat tissue sampling please contact me at 704-441-2624 or mgraham4@ncsu.edu.

Illustrations are from NCDA&CS.