MSU offers winter wheat planting resources

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MSU offers winter wheat planting resources

An extension educator says planting early is the best strategy for a strong wheat crop heading into winter dormancy.

Michigan State University wheat specialist Dennis Pennington says farmers who wait too long to plant wheat are losing yields.

“If you can get planted in late September or in the very first part of October, you’ll have the maximum yield potential.”

He says research shows growers can lose up to a quarter bushel per day planting after the third week in October.

Pennington is currently studying planting rates and his early trials suggest lower seeding rates earlier in the season and increasing density the later crops are planted.

“Between an inch and an inch and a half—your crown roots are about half or three-quarters of an inch under the soil surface—that’s when you get the most stability to the plant, you reduce risk of lodging.”

He also recommends calibrating equipment for each variety grown.