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Follow advice for seeding wheat in fall

According to USDA, the Michigan winter wheat yield is forecast at 72 bushels per acre this year and farmers expect to harvest 540,000 acres.

While acreage may drop a bit when the crop is planted this fall, managing fertility to get the crop started well is important. To optimize growth and fertility, specific management practices should be followed:

Seeding date. The proper date is vital to wheat’s survival and vitality. If wheat is planted too early in a warm fall, excessive growth could occur making it vulnerable to winterkill. If wheat is planted too late, development can be deficient and will lack spring growth. Highest yields are most likely to be attained when planting about 10 days following the Hessian-fly-free date.

Proper fertilizer types. Nitrogen is the most limiting nutrient for winter wheat growth. Soil testing should be done to determine if soil is properly fertilized.

Planting rate. It is generally recommended that growers plant 1.5 million to 2.2 million seeds per acre.

Weed control. Proper herbicide application timing is critical.

These practices can help farmers manage fields more efficiently, maximize crop yields and produce top profits. Other benefits of properly managing winter wheat crops include greater soil moisture recharge after early harvest, reduction in soil erosion, water quality improvement and crop rotation diversity.

Source: Mich. Agri-Business Association

This article published in the August, 2012 edition of MICHIGAN FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2012.