Wheat School: Solve your tiller problem with N, not seeding rate

Wheat tillers are nothing but a well-camouflaged weed, right? Not exactly.

While excessive tillering can cause grief for fungicide timing and harvest management, one tiller can actually pull its own weight and contribute to yield.

How do you best manage for one or two tillers?

Say it with us now: nitrogen!

If you wanted to say seeding rate, we understand: it’s a common misconception.

Peter Johnson, RealAgriculture agronomist, says that if we dig a little into how wheat grows you’ll understand why nitrogen, and not seeding rate, is the better way to manage tillers.

“You can’t stop wheat from tillering. It’s made to do that,” says Wheat Pete. Tillering has been bred out of corn, for example, but the trait is still firmly there for wheat. Wheat decides how many tillers to make based on early moisture and nutrient levels — good early moisture conditions and all the nitrogen applied up front is a recipe for lots and lots of tillers.

In this sound effect-laden Wheat School, Johnson walks us through why upped seeding rates cause more issues than tillers ever would; why aiming for 30 live plants per square foot should inform your seeding rate; and, why split-app nitrogen may not boost overall yield, but should manage your tiller problem.

“Apply your second nitrogen application AFTER it’s done tillering,” Johnson says. Watch below for more:

Find all the Wheat School episodes here!

 

RealAgriculture Agronomy Team

A team effort of RealAgriculture videographers and editorial staff to make sure that you have the latest in agronomy information for your farm.

Trending

Sorghum in Alberta? How to use this crop as a silage option

What's tall and showy and a new silage option for Alberta ranchers? Sorghum Sudan grass! The crop is a warm season, fast growing, high nitrogen user that, as silage, is capturing the attention of silage users in Alberta, now that varieties are coming along to better fit the growing area.As Vern Turchyn, of Viterra, explains…Read more »

Related

Leave a Reply

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.