Winter Wheat Planting: Set the Stage for the Best Start Possible

By Kevin Hartman, Bayer Crop Protection Field Sales, and Mark Lubbers, Sr. Technical Product Manager-WestBred

As they move past 2021 winter wheat harvest, farmers should begin thinking about planting the next crop. Certified seed and seed-applied chemistry are two components in getting next year’s crop off to the best possible start.

Across Kansas, much of the 2021 winter wheat crop received a significant amount of rainfall during grain fill and again at harvest. Farmers who plan to save their seed need to be aware that these conditions promote the development of seed-borne diseases such as loose smut, Stagonospora glume blotch, black point and Fusarium head blight (FHB). These diseases may affect germination rates of saved seed by reducing seed quality and/or increasing the incidence of seedling diseases. Planting certified seed combined with a high-quality, seed-applied fungicide can mitigate the risk of poor stands for next year’s crop.

Certified Seed

Planting certified seed means you are going with seed that passed inspections for purity and quality — containing no foreign crop seeds or other materials — and is absent of certain seed-borne diseases. WestBred® Wheat offers several certified seed only (CSO) varieties that not only meet certified seed standards but also offer key in-season disease traits, such as FHB and wheat streak mosaic virus tolerance, that differentiate them in the market. If you are going to purchase a CSO variety, protect that investment with a seed treatment.


Seed Treatments

Seed treatments protect germinating plants from a variety of early-season pathogens. There are two very effective seed treatments for WestBred wheat varieties, both offering protection for common seed-borne diseases.

EverGol™ features a new class of chemistry, offering an innovative fungicide that promotes more root growth for faster crop establishment. With three modes of action, this product provides excellent protection against commonly occurring seed- and soil-borne fungal diseases and is recommended for use in no-till environments because of its improved seedling health characteristics.

Raxil® PRO Shield is a convenient, all-in-one fungicide and insecticide seed treatment regulated for on-farm seed treating. It’s two modes of action provides protection from early-season seedling diseases such as Pythium and Rhizoctonia, and from seed-borne head scab. Reducing early-season stress means plants can focus energy on better root establishment and improved vigor.

In-Season Protection

Prosaro® fungicide has an unbeatable spectrum of disease control, providing protection against leaf diseases such as leaf rust, tan spot and powdery mildew, and also provides good protection against FHB. Timing is the key to control in both instances.

When flag leaf appears and conditions are favorable for leaf diseases, you will want to make a Prosaro fungicide application. For head scab, you must wait until flowering to make that application for best control. Light stripe or leaf rust pressure at the flag leaf stage could mean you can wait to apply Prosaro and still protect against leaf diseases, but also provide protection from FHB. Spraying for FHB at the flag leaf stage will not provide control when you need it. Scouting and application timing are key in this scenario.

Finally, plant treated seed into a weed-free field. Burndown prior to planting is important for eliminating competition for young wheat plants. With wide tank-mix compatibility, Olympus® is a very effective herbicide that offers powerful burndown that suppresses pressure from grasses and tough brome species. It provides residual control to help keep fields clean longer.

Applying burndown ahead of planting, planting WestBred treated varieties and scouting for early disease pressure are good ways to get the 2022 winter wheat crop off to a good start.

For additional wheat agronomic management tips, visit

ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Not all products are registered in all states and may be subject to use restrictions. The distribution, sale, or use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. Check with your local dealer or representative for the product registration status in your state. EverGol®, Olympus®, Prosaro®, Raxil® and WestBred® are registered trademarks of Bayer Group. For additional product information call toll-free 1-866-99-BAYER (1-866-992-2937) or visit our website at Bayer CropScience LP, 800 North Lindbergh Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63167. ©2021 Bayer Group. All rights reserved.


This browser is no longer supported. Please switch to a supported browser: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari.