The BBCH-scale is used to identify the phenological development stages of plants.[1] BBCH-scales have been developed for a range of crop species where similar growth stages of each plant are given the same code.

Phenological development stages of plants are used in a number of scientific disciplines (crop physiology, phytopathology, entomology and plant breeding) and in the agriculture industry (risk assessment of pesticides, timing of pesticide application, fertilization, agricultural insurance). The BBCH-scale uses a decimal code system, which is divided into principal and secondary growth stages, and is based on the cereal code system (Zadoks scale) developed by Jan Zadoks.[2]

The abbreviation BBCH derives from the names of the originally participating stakeholders: "Biologische Bundesanstalt, Bundessortenamt und CHemische Industrie". Allegedly, the abbreviation is said to unofficially represent the four companies that initially sponsored its development; Bayer, BASF, Ciba-Geigy, and Hoechst.[3]

Basic principles

  • The BBCH-scale provides a framework to develop scales for individual crops.
  • Similar growth stages of each plant species are given the same BBCH code.
  • Each code has a description and important growth stages have additional drawings included.
  • The first digit of the scale refers to the principal growth stage.
  • The second digit refers to the secondary growth stage which corresponds to an ordinal number or percentage value.
  • Post harvest or storage treatment is coded as 99.
  • Seed treatment before planting is coded as 00.

Principal growth stages

  • 0: Germination, sprouting, bud development
  • 1: Leaf development
  • 2: Formation of side shoots, tillering
  • 3: Stem elongation or rosette growth, shoot development
  • 4: Development of harvestable vegetative plant parts, bolting
  • 5: Inflorescence emergence, heading
  • 6: Flowering
  • 7: Development of fruit
  • 8: Ripening or maturity of fruit and seed
  • 9: Senescence, beginning of dormancy

See also

BBCH-scales for plants or plant groups:

  • Bean
  • Beet
  • Bulb vegetable
  • Canola, rapeseed
  • Cereals
  • Citrus
  • Coffee
  • Cotton
  • Cucurbit
  • Currants
  • Faba bean
  • Grape
  • Hop
  • Leafy vegetables forming heads
  • Leafy vegetables not forming heads
  • Maize, corn
  • Musacea
  • Olive
  • Other brassica vegetables
  • Pea
  • Peanut
  • Pome fruit
  • Potato
  • Rice
  • Root and stem vegetable
  • Solaneous fruit
  • Stone fruit
  • Strawberry
  • Sunflower
  • Weed


  1. Meier, U. (2001). "Growth stages of mono- and dicotyledonous plants". BBCH Monograph. doi:10.5073/bbch0515. Archived from the original on 2018-10-15. Retrieved 2018-10-15.
  2. Zadoks, J.C.; T.T. Chang; C.F. Konzak (1974). "A decimal code for the growth stages of cereals". Weed Research. 14 (6): 415–421. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3180.1974.tb01084.x.
  3. "E-Notes". E-Notes.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.