The recent surge of cold weather could be damaging to Louisiana’s wheat crop, depending on the severity and duration of the below-freezing temperatures.

LSU AgCenter wheat specialist Josh Lofton said the amount of damage can’t be determined for a week to 10 days. He says damaged tissue will show signs of discoloration and wilting.

A number of factors make it difficult to predict exactly what effects the cold will have on a crop. Lofton said soil temperature and moisture, the amount of foliage covering the growth points, the plant growth stage and wind are among the considerations.

Lofton said this year’s state wheat acreage is down to fewer than 200,000 acres compared with last year’s crop of 210,000 acres.