October 25, 2018

Winter wheat planting: What’s the status?


Young WestBred® wheat

Although it seems like just yesterday we were climbing into our combines for winter wheat harvest, it’s already time to plant the next season of wheat. As farmers across the regions have been putting winter wheat into the ground, we got the low-down on what is in store this season and what farmers should be considering as we head into planting.

In Montana, southern Idaho and surrounding areas of Utah and Wyoming, winter wheat planting has gotten off to a late start. According to WestBred® wheat regional commercial manager Ryan Weber, the delay in planting is due to the moisture that region has experienced. “Planting is still a little delayed because the fields are wet. We've had a lot of moisture, but I would say we're probably 70% planted,” said Ryan.

The central part of the country has experienced heavy precipitation too according to Andrew Blubaugh, WestBred wheat regional commercial manager. “Parts of Kansas and Nebraska saw anywhere from 3-12 inches of total precipitation over the last 10 days,” said Andrew. The western part of Andrew’s region, including Colorado, Wyoming, western Kansas and western Nebraska, is off to a strong start, but the eastern part of the region is still waiting for a dry spell to allow them to finish planting.

Late planting can help minimize the risks of certain pests and diseases, but planting too late can leave your crops at risk of winterkill, decreased fall growth and tillering, which can lead to wind erosion.1

“Growers looking to plant late will want to increase seeding rates and pick varieties that can tiller well and handle being planted late,” said Andrew.

Despite the concerns that come along with the late start to the season, Ryan is confident it will be a successful year in his region. Not only is he predicting substantial yields but as the market for wheat continues to grow, Ryan says farmers are growing more and more winter wheat. “In the Montana area, I believe we're going to be doubling our acres in winter wheat,” said Ryan.

With seeds purchased and planting in progress, the crop of winter wheat is on its way to another successful season. “I think we're going to have a good run on winter wheat this year,” said Ryan.

Have you finished your winter wheat planting? What varieties are you growing this season? Drop us a line or photo of your winter wheat fields on Facebook or Twitter, or drop us an email at the.tiller@westbred.com.



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