Wheat  03/14/13 9:42:00 AM

Hard Red Spring Wheat 

Spring Wheat

Once thought of as a crop confined to western dryland farming, Hard Red Spring (HRS) Wheat can be a legitimate rotational crop for farmers throughout the upper Midwest. With the development of newer, more disease-resistant varieties, and with the option of very effective fungicides for conventional farmers, HRS Wheat is being produced successfully over a wider area than in the past. The lower production costs of wheat have made it attractive to corn & soybean farmers, especially in recent years when the wheat price has gotten high relative to its long-term averages.

HRS Wheat is planted very early in the spring and is usually harvested from mid-July to early August. It can produce high test weight, high protein grain that is preferred by bread makers.

If you are producing HRS wheat on highly productive black ground, make sure you are planting a variety that has very good to excellent lodging resistance. That characteristic will allow you to fertilize it and plant it at the higher populations you will need in order to maximize production.

Hard Red Spring Wheat: Basic Agronomics (click for more information)

Description:

  • Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is an annual cereal grain.
  • 11,000 to 18,000 seeds per pound
  • 60 pounds per bushel

Management considerations:

  • Avoid planting wheat on fields that were planted in corn the previous year. Corn trash can harbor the Fusarium fungus which can cause Scab. If you must plant wheat on corn ground, work the soil as black as possible and plan on spraying a fungicide.

Optimum Planting Dates:

  • Plant as soon as you can prepare a good seedbed (last week of March is fine).
  • After April 21 in southern MN, you give up 1% of yield for each day of delay.

Seeding Recommendations:

  • In order to achieve a recommended plant population of about 1.2 million to 1.3 million plants per acre, plant about 120 to 140 lbs. per acre.
  • Good seed-soil contact and adequate moisture is essential when the grain is seeded. Prepare a firm seedbed for good germination and seedling development. Dry, loose soil makes for an unsatisfactory seedbed.
  • Drill about 1 to 2 inches deep, depending on soil moisture and soil texture. A grain drill with press wheels is the best because it places the seed at a uniform depth and gives good soil-seed contact.
  • Broadcasting wastes seed and often results in uneven stands.

Fertilization

(Please contact your fertilizer professional for your specific needs):

  • Make sure there is 75 pounds of available Nitrogen as well as good levels of phosphorus and potassium. Both liquid and granular fertilizers work well.
  • Better standing varieties (i.e., Glenn) can handle more N.
  • For best yields broadcast 60-20-20 at seeding.
  • Using an air drill you can put on 20-10-10 with the seed then spray on 15 – 18 gallons of 28% before emergence. (Don’t spray 28% on growing wheat or it will burn it badly. Using a drip or other system allows you to apply 28% post-emergence.)

Weed and Disease Control

(This is not intended as a recommendation or endorsement of any specific product but as a list of possible controls. Please contact your chemical professional for your specific needs and always read and follow label directions):

  • Seeding as early as possible in the growing season enables the cool season small grain crop to compete effectively with weeds, especially with warm season annual grasses. Research has shown that herbicides generally are not needed for green and yellow foxtail control in small grains if the small grain is well established before the foxtail emerges.
  • Grass Control (foxtail): Puma
  • Broadleaf Control: Bromite Plus works well, 2,4-D or MCPA can also be used.
  • It may be possible to spot treat areas in the field rather than the entire field.
  • Fungicides: Consider applying 4 oz. of Headline (or another fungicide) when the wheat is at the 3 to four leaf stage. Check with your chemical advisor for rates and timing. A second application may be needed in wet years. T-22 is a seed-applied bio-fungicide approved for wheat that provides season long protection from Pythium, Rhizoctonia, and Fusarium fungi (OMRI listed).

Tips for Profitable Small Grain Production

Tillage Best Mgt. Practices for Small Grain Production in the Upper MN River Basin

Wheat and Barley Production Tips

Hard Red Spring Wheat Variety Trials and Resources

Late Planting of Small Grains


 

Winter Wheat (Triticum aestivum)

Spring Wheat

Winter wheat is seeded in the fall and harvested the following summer. It can often yield more than spring wheat, but usually sells at a lower price. Like all the winter grains, one of the major advantages to winter wheat is that it starts growing right away in the spring. You don’t have to fight the spring mud and rains like you do if you are planting spring wheat.

Winter wheat must sprout and grow in the fall and then go through a period of freezing for it to produce grain the following summer. For that reason it is important to seed winter wheat early enough that it can establish. On the other hand, because winter wheat that grows too tall is more susceptible to winter kill, it is possible to seed your winter wheat too early. In southern MN, the recommended seeding date range is September 10 – Sept. 30.

We sell two different kinds of winter wheat. When planning your production it is important to know what type of winter wheat is easier to market to your potential customers. Winter wheat that does not meet milling quality standards can almost always be used for animal feed.

The Hard Red Winter Wheat (HRWW) we sell is typically grown west of the Mississippi in the northern plains. It is planted from mid-September to mid-October (the further north you are, the earlier you plant it) and harvested the following summer (mid-July to mid-August). The flour is used to produce bread, rolls, some sweet goods, and all-purpose flour.

We carry varieties developed by the Universities of Minnesota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. As a general rule, the further east of I-35 you farm, the more important it is to plant a very good standing winter wheat because you will need to plant your wheat at a higher population and fertilize it to maximize yields.

Hard Red Winter Wheat: Basic Agronomics (click for more information)

Description:

  • Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is an annual cereal grain.
  • 11,000 to 18,000 seeds per pound
  • 60 pounds per bushel
  • HRWW can yield 50 - 90 bushels/acre

Management considerations:

  • Direct seeding winter wheat into standing crop stubble (other than corn) is recommended in order to retain snow during the winter.
  • Snow protects the crown of winter wheat from temperatures that are common during the winter in Minnesota and maintains a cooler soil environment so the plant doesn’t break dormancy as early in the spring or during a mid-winter thaw.
  • Seeding into spring wheat stubble increases the risk of residue-born diseases.
  • Avoid planting winter wheat on corn ground if at all possible.
  • If you are going to follow sweet corn or corn silage, work the soil as black as possible to reduce the likelihood of Scab or FHB.
  • Watch chemical restrictions.

Optimum Planting Dates:

  • Optimum dates for direct seeding winter wheat into standing stubble:

Location

Date

South of I-90

September 20 – October 10

Between I-90 and I-94

September 10 – September 30

North of I-94

September 1 – September 15

  • Winter wheat requires a period of cold acclimation and vernalization in order to survive freezing temperatures and produce seed in the spring.
  • A delay in planting past the optimum seeding date increases the risk for winter kill and can reduce grain yield since the crowns will not be as well developed and the plant will have had less opportunity to store nutrients.
  • Seeding too early can result in excessive growth in the fall making plants more vulnerable to winter kill and creates a green bridge for a number of winter wheat pests.

Seeding Recommendations:

  • 90 – 120 lbs. per acre will generally provide a good stand.
  • The optimum stand of winter wheat is 900,000 to 1,000,000 plants per acre. The optimum stand is less than spring wheat since the crop will have more opportunity to tiller in the early spring. Increase the desired stand to 1,100,000 plants per acre when planting is delayed.
  • Drill about 1 to 2 inches deep, depending on soil moisture and soil texture. A grain drill with press wheels is the best because it places the seed at a uniform depth and gives good soil-seed contact.
  • Broadcasting wastes seed and often results in uneven stands.
    Fertilization (Please contact your fertilizer professional for your specific needs):
  • In contrast to spring wheat, split applications of Nitrogen should be used for winter wheat production. Thirty to forty lbs. of N per acre should be broadcast and incorporated just prior to planting with another 40 to 50 lbs. top dressed in early spring.
  • Soil test to make sure there is adequate P & K. (P & K help reduce winter kill.)

Weed and Disease Control

(This is not intended as a recommendation or endorsement of any specific product but as a list of possible controls. Please contact your chemical professional for your specific needs and always read and follow label directions):

  • In the spring, apply 4 oz. of Headline (or another fungicide) with 2,4-D when the wheat is four inches tall. Check with your chemical advisor for rates and timing. A second fungicide application may be needed in wet years.
  • T-22 is a seed-applied bio-fungicide approved for wheat that provides season long protection from Pythium, Rhizoctonia, and Fusarium fungi (OMRI listed).

Winter Kill

  • Some winter kill should be expected in Minnesota. Wait until the plants break dormancy and fields begin to green up before making any decision on replanting. Roots are generally less winter hardy than crowns and regrowth may be very slow, even if roots and shoots appear dead. It may take until the end of April before the degree of winter kill can be determined. Stands of 17 plants/sq. ft. can still produce near maximum grain yields.
  • If large areas are lost, consider destroying the winter wheat and planting spring wheat in those areas. Avoid inter-seeding winter wheat and spring wheat as this creates a mixture of contrasting wheat classes which can result in marketing problems.

Production Guides & Basic Practices

Tips for Planting Winter Wheat

Small Grains
Wheat
Barley
Oats
Other Spring Grains
 
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