Prepare now for winter wheat planting

Research at Michigan State University is finding planting in mid-to-late September has the best yield potential for winter wheat.

Wheat extension specialist Dennis Pennington says wheat tillers that emerge in the fall provide the greatest yields at harvest.

“If you can get planted by the 1st of October, there’s generally less than about a 10 percent yield loss, once you go between the 1st of October and mid-October, there’s up to a 20 percent yield loss,” he explains.

But, he says planting too early can be problematic.

“What happens is you get a lot of that lush green growth,” he says.  “I’ve seen as many as eight to nine tillers in the fall and that is a recipe for lodging the following year.”

Pennington says ideal seeding rates increase the later a crop is planted, and he recommends using a 1.25 to 1.5-inch seed depth.

Pennington highlighted management options for farmers during this week’s MSU Extension Field Crops Virtual Breakfast.

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