Can I roll my wheat or barley during emergence?
No! Don’t roll your wheat or barley while it is in the process of emergence. Cereal plants utilize a special leaf called a coleoptile. The coleoptile emerges from the cereal seed and drives its way upward pushing through the soil until it has emerged. It is specially designed to do this and withstand the pressure while protecting the true leaves of a cereal seedling that are too weak to push through soil. If you roll your wheat and barley while this coleoptile is emerging, you risk damaging, bending, or blocking its emergence. If this occurs, you will encounter a scenario where the true leaves are emerging from the coleoptile under the surface of the soil. This can cause significant plant emergence delay or death. Wait until after the first few true leaves have emerged and then roll. Also, it is best to roll emerged cereals only when it is dry. This prevents plants from sticking to the roller and being pulled from the soil.