Feekes scale

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The Feekes scale is a system used by agronomists to identify the growth and development of cereal crops. The Feekes scale is more widely used in the United States[1]than other similar and more descriptive[2][3] scales such as the Zadoks scale or the BBCH scale. The scale was originally described in 1941[4] and, like other scales of crop development, is useful in planning management strategies that incorporate plant growth information for the use of pesticides and fertilizers to avoid damaging the crop and/or maximize crop yield.

Cereal growth stages using the Feekes scale[4]
1One shoot (number of leaves can be added), first leaf through coleoptile.
2Beginning of tillering; main shoot and one tiller.
3Tillers formed; leaves often twisted spirally. Main shoot and six tillers. In some varieties of winter wheat, plant may be “creeping,” or prostrate.
4Beginning of the erection of the pseudo-stem; leaf sheaths beginning to lengthen.
5Pseudo-stem (formed by sheaths of leaves) strongly erected.
Stem Extension
6First node of stem visible at base of shoot.
7Second node of stem formed; next-to-last leaf just visible.
8Flag leaf (last leaf) visible but still rolled up; ear beginning to swell.
9Ligule of flag leaf just visible.
10Sheath of flag leaf completely grown out; ear swollen but not yet visible.
10.1First spikelet of head just visible.
10.2One-quarter of heading process completed.
10.3Half of heading process completed.
10.4Three-quarters of heading process completed.
10.5All heads out of sheath.
10.51Beginning of flowering.
10.52Flowering complete to top of head.
10.53Flowering completed at base of head.
10.54Flowering completed; kernel watery ripe.
11.1Milky ripe.
11.2Mealy ripe; contents of kernel soft but dry. Soft dough.
11.3Kernel hard (difficult to divide with thumbnail).
11.4Ripe for cutting. Straw dead.


  1. ^ Wise K, Johnson B, Mansfield C, Krupke C. "Managing Wheat by Growth Stage". Purdue University Extension. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Miller, Travis. "Growth Stages of Wheat: Identification and Understanding Improve Crop Management". Texas Agricultural Extension Service. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  3. ^ Herbek J and Lee C (7 2009). "Section 2. Growth and Development". A Comprehensive Guide to Wheat Management in Kentucky. University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. 
  4. ^ a b Large, E. C. (1 December 1954). "GROWTH STAGES IN CEREALS ILLUSTRATION OF THE FEEKES SCALE". Plant Pathology 3 (4): 128–129. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3059.1954.tb00716.x.