By Grant Mehring, Northern Region Technical Product Manager, WestBred® Wheat
It’s been said that the average wheat grower makes upward of 40 critical management decisions throughout the course of one growing season. While I don’t want to under or overemphasize any of those individual decisions, I’ve identified five key decisions that, when thoughtfully considered, will help growers manage their crops to maximize yield potential.
5 Critical Spring Wheat Management Decisions
- What varieties should I choose? Plant Certified Seed varieties that are well-suited to your environment and select multiple varieties to minimize risk around maturity, disease, drought, yield, or protein.
- How should I effectively manage weeds? In a short spring wheat season, every day counts. Scout your fields early and often, know the weeds you’re combating, and devise a weed management strategy accordingly.
- What’s the most effective way to protect my crop? Plan on one to three fungicide applications each season. While scouting, look for signs of pressure from aphids, armyworms, grasshoppers, or cutworms. Apply insecticides as needed.
- How do I manage for my environment? Moisture and temperature may not be under our control, but they do play a huge role in yield potential. Respond to both by monitoring and managing fertility, specifically nitrogen and sulfur.
- How else can I maximize yield potential? You can’t harvest wheat efficiently if it’s lying on the ground, losing both yield and combine speed. Picking the right varieties, knowing your nitrogen levels, and harvesting in a timely manner can help minimize loss from lodging.
For additional spring wheat management tips, contact Grant Mehring at
Performance may vary, from location to location and from year to year, as local growing, soil and weather conditions may vary.
Growers should evaluate data from multiple locations and years whenever possible and should consider the impacts of these conditions on the grower’s fields.
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