September 19, 2017

Planting Wheat? Update Your Technique, Expert Says

September 19, 2017 Jager Robinson, Tri-State Neighbor Reporter. 

At the beginning of August, a voluntary survey conducted by Monsanto found that more than 60 percent of farmers were using seeding rates for wheat based on pounds per acre. And while that may be the normal way to measure it, WestBred Wheat is trying to change that.

WestBred Wheat is a division of Monsanto focused on innovating the way seeding and planting is done for wheat. Its biggest platform is the ConnectIN system.

ConnectIN is a cloud based tool for seed distributors that they believe simplifies things for everyone. Kevin Hodges, the WestBred Wheat commercial operations lead, believes they have created an innovation that allows reports to be generated on the fly and provide all the necessary information for farmers on optimal seeding rates.

“If you provide the optimal seeding rate, you’ll be doing your reporting as you go. That’s where we really saw the benefit of this (website),” Hodges said.

Optimal seeding rate is the newest buzz phrase being passed around this harvest, and for good reason — the rate is determined by seeds per acre, instead of pounds per acre.

“(Farmers) were planting it by pounds per acre and not seeds per acre. Because of our experience, we knew that count wasn’t accurate,” Hodges said. “Depending on the density of your seed, or the seed count, that 80 pounds per acre could be a million plants if your seed is small, or it could be 800,000 if the seeds are large.”