The weather looks like it about to turn across the Northern Plains and you'll soon be able to plant wheat.
Before rushing out to seed, consider these four last minute tips:
•Add more varieties. "Diversity is your friend," especially this year, says David Boehm, Syngenta cereals key account manager. Planting multiple varieties can help minimize the season's inevitable unpredictability.. Some varieties – particularly those that mature early – better withstand drought but can have smaller yield potential. On the flip side, long-maturing varieties have higher yield potential but are more vulnerable to stress later in the season if it's a dry year.
•Treat seed. "Seed treatments promote early germination, healthy root development, early crop vigor and good plant establishment," says Josh Messer, agronomist with Plains Grain and Agronomy, LLC, Enderlin, N.D. He recommends seed treatments with both insecticide and fungicide, such as Cruiser Maxx Vibrance Cereals, to help protect against crown rot and other soilborne diseases and insects.
•Make sure fields are fit. Soil needs to be free of frost and dry enough for drill openers to penetrate and close the furrow well. Avoid planting into overly wet soil conditions, as that can cause furrow sidewall compaction and inhibit plant growth.
Plant certified quality seed that is disease and weed free and has had a recent germination test. You can estimate how much seed you need with the AgriPro seed calculator
"With proper planning, I think spring wheat has the potential to be very successful in 2013, Boehm says.
Sources: SDSU Extension, Syngenta