August 17, 2017 Kris Cherewyk
Winning Combination: Winter Wheat and Seed Hawk
It’s an exciting time on the prairies as harvest is getting underway. The satisfaction of bringing in a year’s worth of planning and hard work is one of the biggest reasons growers love what they do. For some producers, it also means the beginning of the 2018 crop year with the planting of winter wheat. Our agronomy discussions earlier this year have talked about the various ways that Seed Hawk technology can improve the performance of wheat over the course of the growing season such as even maturity. It is therefore important to discuss the various seeding tips that pertain to winter wheat specifically.
The ideal seeding dates for winter wheat are between September 1st and 15th depending on conditions. Winter wheat growth at greater than the three-leaf stage provides ideal crown development for re-growth in the spring. However, if the plants have grown too much they are at risk for greater winter injury. Typically, winter wheat does not require much moisture to germinate; Seed Hawk’s opener and packer design help to conserve moisture in potentially dry fall conditions. Planting at a shallow depth also allows winter wheat to take advantage of fall rains as well as the precision fertilizer placement of the Seed Hawk opener system. Fertilizer placement, close to the seed, allows the plant to take advantage of early spring moisture and get off to the quick start it needs to be competitive against quick-germinating weeds.
In terms of plant stand density, a target of 30-35 plants per square foot is recommended. This is important in winter wheat as it assists in crop competitiveness, winter survival and yield potential. Seed Hawk’s Fenix III metering system allows for precise, accurate seeding rates to help achieve the desired rate. Before seeding, remember to have a germination and vigor test as well as TKW to determine the proper drill setting.
Finally, remember to apply treatment to the seed before planting. Soil-borne diseases are always prevalent in the spring and seed treatment helps in seedling survival as well as early season vigor, two components critical to a high yielding crop.
Good agronomic practices in the fall of 2017 combined with precision Seed Hawk technology will provide your winter wheat crop with the strong start it needs to achieve a high yielding, high quality crop in 2018. Preparation and planning matters!
With files from the Western Winter Wheat Initiative: http://www.growwinterwheat.ca/growing-winter-wheat/seeding/general-seeding/