Thomas G. Chastain

Several scales have been constructed for use in assigning developmental stages to crop plants.   The BBCH (Biologische Bundesanstalt, Bundessortenamt und Chemische Industrie) scale is used to ascertain the developmental stages of crops and is based on the Zadoks scale for cereals but has been standardized and extended to many other crops including dicots.

The uniform nature of the BBCH scale has encouraged the wide-spread use of this system by agronomists and by agricultural practitioners alike.  One advantage of the BBCH scale is the simplicity of staging of crop plants because only one scale (with minor modification) is needed for multiple species.

Ten principal stages form the basis for the scale in each crop.  Below is a table showing the adaptation of the scale for grass seed crops.

Stage Description – BBCH scale
0-9 Seed germination/bud development
10-19 Leaf development
20-29 Tiller development
30-39 Stem elongation
40-49 Booting
50-59 Inflorescence emergence/development
60-69 Flowering/pollination
70-79 Seed development
80-89 Seed maturation and harvest
90-99 Senescence


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