Wisconsin winter wheat good, despite late planting


Wisconsin winter wheat good, despite late planting

An agronomist surveying winter wheat stands says the crop is doing surprisingly well.

Rodney Erdman with Pioneer in eastern Wisconsin says, “I looked at a bunch of fields last week that were planted in, you know, the second week of November. It’s really easy to dig roots and, the roots are all nice and white and crisp.”

Erdman tells Brownfield the winter wheat planting was very late for most farmers because of the late harvest and wet fields last fall, but the recent warm weather has helped. “There was a lot of it that I think might have just sprouted and we didn’t see any physical growth above ground, but like I said, I looked at some fields like that last week and more than sufficient stand counts. I was counting things in the 25 to 30 (plants per square foot) range.”

Erdman says he is advising farmers to take several plant counts within a one square foot area to evaluate the field.  “Twenty-one plants per square foot will give you an optimum chance at yield and anything above fifteen is still going to be fairly positive and, you know, the way wheat and straw markets are I think I would have a hard time pulling out any wheat that’s planted now, but for the most part, everything looks really good.”

He says the biggest challenge now is soft ground. “You’ve got to get your nitrogen on as soon as its fit, whether you can fly it on or we get it dried enough where you can get a ground rig in there, but definitely, nitrogen as soon as possible on your wheat.”

Rodney Erdman with Pioneer discusses wheat and alfalfa with Brownfield’s Larry Lee

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