We think our wheat is dead. Why?

Asked August 3, 2016, 12:05 PM EDT

We don't know anything about planting wheat, and yet we've tried twice now. Last year we had great success, and this year's crop is a disaster. A 10' x 14' plot with afternoon sun is available to us. Last year we carefully planted the seeds in rows. This year we scattered them, no rows. Last year we planted during the 1st week in June, and this year during the 1st week in May. We didn't think the plot needed extra water either year, and we didn't try weeding. The 1st photo below shows last year's crop. The 2nd photo shows how this year's crop began growing. But now I can find only 3 small, immature heads on the wheat, two brown and one green. A sizable portion of the plot contains a piece of land that is simply "brown grass" about 6-8 inches tall. About 3 weeks ago, before we went on vacation, it looked great. Two people saw the wheat while we were gone. One reports seeing heads. The other said the wheat never formed heads. Can you tell us where our wheat has gone?

Ramsey County Minnesota

1 Response

Your wheat appears to have ripened in your absence and been visited by animals. In the 3rd picture the straw clearly show clean breaks where the seed heads used to be. It is very difficult to protect crops from hungry critters.