Right Rate when Rolling Again

When we get back in the field to plant wheat, where should my target seeding rates be?

As we now crest in to October, the “Early Wheat Planting” window has effectively closed for much of the province.  Essex, Chatham-Kent, and lower portions of Lambton and Middlesex are now likely the only counties to have a chance to be back in the field by the historical “optimum” planting date.  For the others to the north and east, we enter the “Traditional Wheat Planting” period.  Certainly no reason to be discouraged, many acres of very respectable wheat crops are planted in this period.  However, planting rate targets now need to go up.  While keeping costs in mind, I feel it generally does not hurt to stick to the high side of the rate range in later planted wheat.

For a heat unit range like Listowel or Winchester the target rates should move to the following.  If you get the chance to be in the field this week, target 1.7 mil up to Oct 10.  If delayed past that, target 1.8 mil to Oct 17, then target 1.9 mil to Oct 24.  If you plan to plant into November, 2.0 mil – or higher – will need to be the target.

Never skip the seed placed Phosphorous.  The benefit from seed placed starter fertilizer is the greatest as the planting season gets later.  The soils are generally trending cooler, and the young roots depend on available phos.

Other factors to consider:

Heavy Clay – always bump seed rates by 20% from the general recommendations.

Priesley – stay to the high side.  Add 10-15%.  If you are using the variety Priesley, there is never a concern for lodging.  Also, the structure of the plant is dominated by the main stem, and a thicker population of primary heads should set up for stronger yields.

I trust that Mother Nature will give us a crack to plant many more wheat acres within the next few weeks!  Work Safely!

Crop Insurance Deadlines:

The AGRICORP crop insurance planting deadlines should have been mailed to you, and can be found at link below:


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