February 23, 2018
Advice from the field: Wheatridge Farms' Mike Sieck talks QuickRoots® Technology and optimal seeding rates
Seed suppliers and growers alike look at the wheat they plant each season as an investment. They want to not only know what they’re planting, but what steps they can take to ensure that they’re going to give their seed the best chance possible to produce the highest potential yield possible.
And for seed suppliers like Mike Sieck, who’s also a grower, that means starting at the point of counting seed instead of planting by the pound and following through by applying nutritious solutions, like QuickRoots® technology, to ensure the root and shoot health.
“Sometimes I have to push the subject,” Mike said, chuckling during an interview with The Tiller. “But people come to me to enhance their individual ideas and strategies, and I’m happy to help facilitate that with my resources and experience.”
Mike manages Wheatridge Farms Ltd. from Edson, Kansas, near the Kansas-Colorado state line. He comes from a multigenerational farming family (even his sons work Wheatridge Farms’ fields), and uses that expertise when dealing and distributing not only certified seed from WestBred® wheat but also recommending cleaning, processing and seed treatment solutions, like using QuickRoots technology.
These solutions can be especially helpful when handling arduous weather conditions that can affect the region, such as the late spring blizzard that struck Kansas last May.
“For the lifetime that I've been around here, it's always been a trying time of trying to harness mother nature a little bit with the wheat crop,” Mike said. “Through all of these ups and downs, 80-degree days in January to minus 8 degrees in two days,” he explained.
“So, anything that we've got out there that can possibly increase the plant health of these varieties we have is a big plus. QuickRoots technology benefits in that there’s a better uptake of nutrients. That helps with fertilizer efficiency, which helps with better plant stand and a stronger planting root.”
QuickRoots technology has been proven to help improve the uptake of nutrients like phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen, all of which aid in stand, root strength and ultimately greater potential yield.
“We hope when we use products like these that, foremost, we have a yield increase on this and an actual economic benefit to our whole picture of things. Everybody's always looking for, you know, a way to increase the efficiency of the fertilizer. So we can possibly not have to use as much but get more yield out of what we do use,” Mike went on.
“When we've had [QuickRoots technology] out in the field, we were seeing that it was lasting quite a bit longer, and a more beneficial look: darker green-type colors to the wheat. Just better efficiencies in what it looked like it was using with the amount of fertilizers that we had put on when they're available.”
But applying solutions isn’t the only way Mike recommends ensuring the best possible returns on a wheat investment: he recommends using an optimal seeding rate over planting seed by the pound.
“We’ve been planting by population for years,” Mike revealed. “In fact, we’ve been surprised that some people still plant by pounds per acre.”
“For short-term testing and results, it’s critical to learn and see these varieties’ attributes,” Mike said. “Planting by population [with an optimal seeding rate] is the best way to see that.”