Preparation for 2021 Winter Wheat Planting

The view from your combine could be affected by your drill.

By Mark Lubbers, WestBred® Wheat Senior Technical Product Manager, Central Region

Wheat harvest will soon be underway throughout the Central Plains, and many farmers are already thinking about what winter wheat varieties to plant next season. While variety selection is important, there are other factors at planting that may improve the view from your combine cab.

Planting is arguably the most important operation for your farm, where the small details matter and can always be improved. Farmers only get one chance to make all the right decisions at planting, so how do you know you did everything possible to achieve maximum productivity once the seed hits the soil? If you’re unhappy with the view from your combine cab this season, here are some planting tips to think about:

• Planting Date and Depth — Timely planting is key to establishing a crop to help with maximum productivity. Target a minimum of a 1.25-inch seeding depth.

• Seeding Rate — Seedling vigor, tillering ability and standability can all impact the seeding rate for a variety. Understand the optimal seed rate for each variety and increase the seeds per acre in heavy residue and dry or late-planting conditions.

• Utilize a Phosphorus-based Starter Fertilizer — Phosphorus promotes root growth and is key for stand establishment and seedling development.

• Variety Selection — WestBred Wheat is sold by quality seed growers and dealers who can help fi nd the right varieties for your farm. If you already

plant two or more varieties, switch them halfway through your fi eld, instead of at the end, for more side-by-side comparisons.

• Seed Treatment — Your fi rst-planted wheat has the highest likelihood of adverse environmental conditions, so ensure fungicide and insecticide seed treatment on that seed, if not all seed.


For additional wheat management tips, contact Mark Lubbers at

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