Optimize late planted wheat with the right variety choice

In order to avoid unnecessary yield penalties when planting winter wheat late, it is essential to select the right variety of winter wheat, Ron Granger of Limagrain UK told The SF.

Late planting presents a unique set of challenges for wheat crops because the soils are cooler and wetter, so proceed with care and consideration in order to establish the crop well, he said.

“Delayed or late sowing of winter wheat considered from mid-October is now a common practice, particularly for the management of foxtail, in a second wheat situation and for those who sow wheat after beets, or apples earthen.

“Although most of the varieties on the AHDB recommended list can be sown late, it is important to make the distinction by choosing varieties that will do well, rather than being challenged by the situation. If you get it wrong, you could face some pretty significant performance penalties – which are completely avoidable,” Granger said.

“The characteristics of wheats suitable for this split are strong and vigorous tillering, combined with good rooting attributes and semi-prostrate growth in winter.

“Crops sown later will not have been in the ground as long as those sown earlier in the fall, so the variety chosen must be hardy with good tillering ability and emerge more quickly from the blocks in the spring, once growing conditions are favorable. ”

This is especially important where there is black grass, as the variety must compete with the fast growing weed rather than sit and tiller flat on the ground where it will eventually be smothered.

For these reasons, recommended LG Skyscraper and the new variety in the Limagrain portfolio, LG Redwald, for a late slot drill. “We have seen very good results from LG Skyscraper both in trials and more importantly on the farm for several years, offering high yield potential and good performance consistency.

“Data from multiple working seasons also suggests that taller wheats, such as LG Skyscraper, have an advantage in the subsequent drilling scenario, as taller canopies also play an important role in maintaining ear counts. foxtail and seed return to a minimum,” Granger added.

“Based on that, LG Redwald is a very good fit for this late boring situation – it’s a bit of a beast in the fact that it has a semi-erect plant type combined with strong tillering ability and great potential for biomass – it will definitely give the foxtail a run for its money!

The correct seeding rate was also key, he said. Under good conditions, in early November, the target should be a seeding rate of 375-400 seeds/m2, increasing to 400-475 seeds/m2 at later sowing dates, or in a foxtail or grass bed situation. poor seed.

“However, seeding rates after the end of October are difficult to quantify, particularly as they will be determined more by seasonal weather conditions and seedbed preparation at the time of sowing. To offset the impact on tillering, due to cooler temperatures and shorter days, seeding rates should be increased later in the season the crop is planted.

“However, some varieties differ. For example, LG Redwald seems to face lower seeding rates due to its tillering ability which it inherited from its parent, LG Sundance.

He noted that varieties sown later often have the advantage of requiring fewer inputs and may not require an earlier fall herbicide. “However, always use a seed treatment that is effective against root diseases or against slugs and insects, especially in known high-risk situations,” he said.

“Also look at varieties with a good disease resistance profile, certainly against late blight, as this can be problematic on certain soil types in a late sowing situation.”

Spring wheat or second wheat

“Good winter wheat varieties can be grown through late January without significant yield penalties,” Granger added. “However, after January, spring wheat varieties come into their own when it comes to yield performance, especially if foxtail is the main threat on the farm.”

“Most wheats can be planted in a second wheat situation, but look for varieties that have been tested and performed in that position, like LG Skyscraper. In fact, we’ve seen many growers adopt the variety on-farm just for its performance in that second slice of wheat,” he said.

With second wheats, the added pressure of high levels of inoculum and eyespot are important considerations. “Seeding rates should be increased due to whether it is a second straw crop or a continuous crop to compensate for the inevitable loss of tillers due to diseases such as take-all. However, in recent seasons with mild winters, extreme temperatures and pre-harvest rains, eyespot and fusarium also have an impact,” he said.