Wheat School: Feeding winter wheat


It’s time for farmers to be thinking about seeding winter wheat, but many questions still remain around the crop such as: when do I seed it? What sort of yields can I expect? How frost resistant is the variety? Always top of mind for this crop, too, is fertility — how much is enough and when should I apply fertilizer?

RealAgriculture’s Kara Oosterhuis caught up with Elmer Kaskiw, agronomist with Ducks Unlimited Canada, at Crops-A-Palooza at Carberry, Man., to talk about some of the fertility trials that have been conducted in the southern part of the province.

“Some of the new winter wheat varieties have some incredible yield potential. Some of the new varieties under irrigation in southern Alberta are yielding in the 120-125 bu/ac range,” he explains in the Wheat School below. “We have access to irrigation here, so we are trying to demonstrate those types of yields here in southern Manitoba.”

Kaskiw says that for the area, the producer practice is typically 30 pounds of phosphate put down with the seed, followed by 100 pounds (of nitrogen) broadcast in the spring.

“We wanted to compare [the producer practices] to a high-management practice where we were looking at virtually doubling those rates; both nitrogen and phosphorus, but also including potassium and sulphur as well.”

Despite not having access to water until the threat of frost was gone, which according to Kaskiw, ended up being around the third week of May, the fertility trial is doing well, and the winter wheat had a successful winter in regards to survival.

“In regards to producer fields, the winter wheat is doing very well. In most cases, there was very little that was taken out last spring, so it’s all doing quite well. Yield potential looks to be at least average, to slightly above average,” he notes. “We’ve got very low disease levels, low fusarium levels, so I think most growers are pretty encouraged. I would anticipate most of the yields coming in at the 70-80 bu/ac range, so it should be very comparable to what the spring wheat might be potentially yielding come fall as well.”

Check out the conversation between Kara Oosterhuis and Elmer Kaskiw, below:

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