Wheat Planting Resources


This dry fall has raised questions about winter wheat planting…should I plant or delay?  How much seed should I drop?  My wheat has emerged but how do I assess my stands?

UNL Extension’s CropWatch newsletter has featured several wheat articles from Bob Klein, UNL Extension Cropping Systems Specialist and other Extension faculty.  Since they’re on several different CropWatch release dates, I decided to put all the info. in one place for you.  Hope this helps!

Recommendations to Compensate for Delayed Winter Wheat Seeding and Improve Yield Potential

For those who have waited to plant winter wheat, Bob Klein, UNL Extension Cropping Systems Specialist, says to increase wheat seeding rate 10-15 lbs per acre (150,000-225,000 seeds/acre) per week for every week delayed after the seeding rate for our area.  Hessian fly free seeding dates range from September 25 for most of our area to September 28 in southern Nuckolls and most of Thayer Co.

For no-till, he recommends automatically increasing seeding rate an additional 50%.  So if you’re a dryland no-till producer planting in October, he would recommend seeding 90 lbs to 120 lbs maximum of wheat seed.  For irrigated wheat, start at at least 90 lbs/ac and increase 15-20 lbs/acre every week later than suggested seeding date but don’t exceed a maximum of 180 lbs/acre of seed.

Determining the Seeding Rate for Your Winter Wheat

A review of seedling rates vs. yield potential:  On the average, there are 22 seeds per head and 5 heads per plant, or 110 seeds per plant. With an average seed size of 15,000 seeds per pound or 900,000 seeds per bushel, a pound of average-sized seed with 80 percent germination and emergence has a yield potential of approximately 1.5 bushels per acre. Seeding 40 lb of seed with a weight of 15,000 seed per pound has a yield potential of 60 bushels per acre.

Seedbed Conditions and Seeding Equipment Affect Timing of Wheat Seeding

Paul Jasa, UNL Extension Engineer says to make sure the drill is running lower in back than normal. Transfer more drill weight to the back of the drill and add extra weight to the drill. This will allow for penetration into dry, hard soil, forcing the seed into the soil and insuring seed-to-soil contact. Also, don’t seed wheat too shallow. When using disc drills, plant at a depth of 2 inches or more.

Additional Resources:

About jenreesources

I'm the Crops and Water Extension Educator for York and Seward counties in Nebraska with a focus in irrigated crop production and plant pathology.

Posted on October 1, 2012, in Crop Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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