Crop Rotation – It’s Time to Get Serious!

Notes from a team of Ontario Agronomists

In my travels I have noticed too many soybean fields in Southern Ontario sitting bare doing nothing this spring. The wheat fields that I do come across look absolutely gorgeous. Then I come across what seems like endless soybean fields that could be covered with wheat but instead they are covered in weeds. I frequently ask myself why more of these fields are not covered with wheat. The benefits of having wheat in the rotation are what make a sustainable cropping system “sustainable”. In my opinion corn/soybeans or soybeans/soybeans are not a rotation, they are an alternation! My next question is why do some growers take red wheat seriously and have it in their cropping system? I figured it would be suitable throw this question out there to the agronomist who work with growers day in and day out and learn why their growers take wheat seriously. Here is the feedback I received from the Ontario Cargill Agronomists.

“I’ve had growers really make it a priority in the past couple of years because they see the benefit of a healthy crop rotation through higher yields and better field conditions”

“My growers see the difference it makes to keep wheat in the rotation compared to continuous soys. (Better field health, higher fertility etc)”

“It is important to keep wheat in the rotation in order to build organic matter and have a good cover throughout the year”

“The ability to use a different mode of action in the wheat is important to break up corn/ soybean herbicide programs and keep away resistant weeds”

“A lot of my growers plant wheat to help spread the work load out throughout the season”

“My grower swears by a fungicide because when feeding it to cattle they will not eat it unless it has a fungicide on it. The quality is that much better”

“Growers that are serious about wheat add P&S even if they have manure on the ground; it helps promote a healthy wheat crop that much more”

“Successful farmers are not afraid to get in the field to protect their crop. Seven times was one growers record- Split N, Herbicide, 2X fungicide, Preharvest & Armyworm spray”

It’s time for us to make sure more Ontario growers are taking wheat seriously.  There are so many benefits to wheat in a rotation.   Always remember this quote:

“We have not inherited the land from our fathers, but have borrowed it from our children.”
Dennis Hall

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