Wheat School: Keep planting… it’s not too late

With a little luck, RealAgriculture agronomist Peter Johnson believesOntario farmers could still plant one million acres of winter wheat this fall.

In this episode of RealAgriculture’s Wheat School, Johnson says it’s not too late to plant wheat in most of the province. Late-planted wheat can still deliver strong yields, but growers have to pay strict attention to seeding rate. When planting in September, growers can typically plant 1 to 1.2 million seeds per acre. If every plant produces one main head and one tiller, that’s about 2.4 million heads per acre – a healthy population.

If you seed in late October or November, however, tillering is greatly reduced, so growers need to compensate with higher seed populations. “Realistically, we can go to 2 million seeds per acre. After that it gets too expensive,” says Johnson.

Higher populations can pay off, however. In this video Johnson shares an example from 2017 when wheat was seeded on November 23 at 2.5 to 2.8 million seeds per acre and yielded 100 bushels.

Johnson also discusses whether additional phosphorous is necessary for late-planted wheat. He says growers don’t need to up the rate – 50 to 100 pounds of MAP is all it takes.

Click here for more Wheat School episodes.


Bernard Tobin

Bernard Tobin is Real Agriculture's Ontario Field Editor. AgBern was raised on a dairy farm near St. John's, Newfoundland. For the past two decades, he has specialized in agricultural communications. A Ryerson University journalism grad, he kicked off his career with a seven-year stint as Managing Editor and Field Editor for Farm and Country magazine. He has received six Canadian Farm Writers' Federation awards for journalism excellence. He's also worked for two of Canada's leading agricultural communications firms, providing public relations, branding and strategic marketing. Bern also works for Guelph-based Synthesis Agri-Food Network and talks the Real Dirt on Farming.


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One Comment

Bernard Tetrault

Hi we planted wheat on October 25 ahead of the cold wet weather that followed in the Tilbury area on clay soils. We have not seen the wheat emerge and we don’t hold out much hope for this wheat. We are considering reseeding/frost seeding. Any tips?


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