Can frost seeding wheat work in Western Canada?

When the weather is fine, it’s frost seeding time. Wait, are we talking about Ontario? Nope! A mild winter in many parts of Western Canada has farmers wondering… could frost seeding wheat work here?

To field that question, RealAg Radio host, Shaun Haney goes to the Wildman himself Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson. Let’s be clear, Johnson says, we’re talking spring wheat, not winter wheat, and, perhaps most importantly, if this is something you want to try — start small.

“Just play around. Don’t do the typical thing and seed a section, but get out there and do some strips,” Johnson says. Early seeding pays, and pays best in wheat, but the seed needs to be an inch deep, and make sure it’s got a good seed treatment, and don’t skimp on your seeding rate.

“You don’t want it to germinate,” he adds. “You want to be seeding into cool soil that doesn’t warm up yet, so keep an eye on the forecast. Make sure you’re putting phosphorus-starter fertilizer down, but don’t worry about nitrogen for now.”

Will it work? “There might be something there — it’s a fun thought process,” Johnson says, and if it works the payoff could be huge. Not only does frost-seeded wheat typical out-yield spring-seeded by a big margin, think of the gains on everything else, too, if you can prioritize other fields to get done in a timely fashion.

Listen for more top tips from @WheatPete!

 

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