The “big picture” is very important when it comes to evaluating plant stands, especially in winter wheat. The first place a farmer will naturally be drawn to is the visually accessible poor spots in the field. Those areas should be looked at, but always in the broader context of the entire field. If they aren’t, rash decisions can be made that can cost a farmer more than if he just left his crop as – is.

Calculating the number of plants per foot of row gives you some idea of the yield potential of your crop. Doing that properly can be the difference between making the “right” decision and making a “scared” decision. Looking at the health of the plants in those stands is important, as well as how well rooted those plants are can give you some idea whether or not those plants should be counted or written off.

Peter Johnson is a Cereal Crop Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). This week on the Wheat School, Peter gives us some tips on how to properly evaluate plant stands in winter wheat.  Peter discusses with us how to properly evaluate the winter kill because too many farmers just focus on the negative and not the positives of what is left after the harsh cold winter. This wheat school episode is critical for leery winter wheat growers across the country.

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