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.