Making the Most of Late-Seeded Winter Wheat

Challenges with getting this year’s canola crop off the field are shortening the window for seeding winter wheat.

While canola stubble is the preferred seed bed for winter wheat, a delayed growing season and untimely rains over the last few weeks have resulted in canola harvest running later than normal in much of Western Canada.

While late August to early September is the ideal time for planting, Ken Gross, agrologist with Ducks Unlimited, says there are some steps you can take to increase the prospects for a late-seeded winter wheat crop. Those steps include seeding slower to ensure uniform depth, the use of seed treatments and seeding at higher rates to reduce tillering.

Related: Bump Winter Wheat Seeding Rates as Fall Progresses

He notes there have been some winter wheat acres seeded in Western Manitoba and Eastern Saskatchewan — fields that were out of production this year due to flooding in spring and early summer.

Some growers may also be reluctant to grow winter wheat after problems with high disease levels in this year’s crop. Gross notes there are some new varieties coming forward — and management practices now at seeding — that can reduce the chances of losing yield to fusarium head blight next year.

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Kelvin Heppner

Kelvin Heppner is a field editor and radio host for RealAgriculture and RealAg Radio. He's been reporting on agriculture on the prairies and across Canada since 2008(ish). He farms with his family near Altona, Manitoba, and is on Twitter at @realag_kelvin. @realag_kelvin

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