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Wheat planting after harvest


Farm Science Review has come and gone, and fall weather is starting to creep in. I spoke with a few farmers this week who shelled some corn and was still a bit too wet to continue with, but harvest is just around the corner. Because harvest will be taking place soon, wheat planting is not far behind. The 2023 wheat harvest found great average yields throughout the state. Grain yield averaged between 86 and 126 bu/acre across five Ohio counties. Let’s talk about some wheat planting considerations so that the 2024 wheat harvest can be just as good.

Make sure to plant within the 10-day period starting after the county fly-safe date. For Clinton County, the fly-safe date is Oct. 2. It’s best to plant wheat in the 10-day period after this date. The Hessian fly and aphids can carry Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus that negatively impacts the health of your wheat. Research trials at OSU have not shown any benefit in yield from planting before the Hessian fly-safe date.

Choose the best high-yielding varieties with high test weight, good straw strength, and adequate disease resistance. Not only is the initial investment in seed important, but what is your time and energy worth? Southern Ohio has had issues with powdery mildew, leaf blotch, and leaf rust in humid years so it’s best to make decisions now that impact us favorably later. Avoid varieties with susceptibility to Fusarium head scab. Plant seeds that have been treated with fungicide to avoid seed-borne diseases.

The best seeding rates are between 1.2 and 1.6 million seeds/acre. This translates into 140-160 pounds per acre. For drills with a 7.5-inch row spacing, this is 18-24 seeds per foot or row. The reason why seeding rate is important is because too high of a seeding rate (30 seeds per foot or more) increases the chances of lodging and powdery mildew problems in the spring.

Shallow planting is the number one reason for low tiller numbers. Make sure to plant seeds 1.5 inches deep. Too shallow of planting will also decrease winter survival.

Apply 20-30 pounds of actual Nitrogen per acre at planting to promote fall tiller development. Phosphorus and Potassium applications should be made per soil test.

Information used from: C.O.R.N Newsletter, OSU Agronomic Crops Network

Brooks Warner is the Ag & Natural Resources Educator at OSU Extension Clinton County.