Winter Wheat Prep: Planting Right and Avoiding Blight

It’s the season for planting Winter Wheat. Before you put those seeds in the ground, though, we recommend you visit two brief articles by Wisconsin soybean specialists Dr. Shawn Conley, Dr. Damon Smith and John Gaska.

The first article gives you the top eight recommendations for establishing winter wheat in both a quick review form and in depth. This is a must read if you’re planting winter wheat.

While we are reposting these recommendations here, again, we urge you to make the time to read the full report before a single goes in the ground. The time you spend now can increase yield and avoid common problems.

The Top Eight Recommendations for Planting Right.

  1. Variety selection: please see the 2017 WI Winter Wheat Performance Test
  2. Plant new seed (DO NOT plant saved seed).
  3. A fungicide seed treatment is recommended for winter wheat in WI, especially for seed damaged by Fusarium head blight (FHB)
  4. Wheat should be planted 1 inch deep.
  5. The target seeding rate for wheat planted from September 15th to October 1st is 1,300,000 to 1,750,000 seeds per acre.
  6. The optimal seeding rate for wheat planted after October 1st should be incrementally increased as planting date is delayed to compensate for reduced fall tillering.
  7. Crop rotation matters.
  8. Plant between September 20 and October 5

The Moves to Make to Avoid Blight

The second part of the planting equation is avoiding Fusarium head blight (aka FHB or scan) While most Wisconsin farmers avoided problems in 2017, many farmers—especially in southwest Wisconsin—were so disappointed with dockage and rejections in 2014 and 2015, they didn’t plant a single acre this past year.

However, if you manage for FHB, winter wheat is a viable option because knowledge is power.

Again, before you sink the seed, make the time to read.  In about ten minutes you can have the full scoop on the vitals roles of proper crop rotation, variety selection, application timing, choosing the right fungicide class, and harvest timing and flash drying.