• Seed
  • Sep 28, 2020

6 Tips for Selecting the Right Wheat Varieties

Winter wheat will soon be planted in many areas of the United States with spring wheat taking root next March or April. Whether you’re finalizing this year’s winter wheat selection or shifting your attention to next year’s varieties, taking a season-long, holistic approach can result in optimized ROI and yield potential. Here are some tips for selecting a variety to help you get the most out of your wheat seed at every stage of the season.


1. Understand your soil.

Do you have soil that will respond favorably to inputs and high management or is it fairly marginal? Is your goal to drive yield or are you using wheat as a rotational crop? If you want to drive yield, consider mapping out your wheat field using satellite imagery to help recognize where your best and worst soils are. This will help you better manage/variable rate your inputs to increase potential ROI.


2. Consider the environment.

Are your wheat fields normally dry or more offensive with good moisture? What diseases have you had in those fields? With today’s advanced wheat varieties, consider those that will be best for stressed acres and for high-yield-potential acres, and whether the variety contains a defensive package to manage wheat diseases such as Fusarium head blight and bacterial leaf streak. Your retailer can help you determine the disease package that’s most appropriate for your region.


3. Determine your inputs.

If you have offensive acres with high yield potential, it’s worth investing in a quality seed treatment. Warden® Cereals 360 seed treatment combines the protection of three top-of-the-line fungicides and an industry-leading insecticide, along with Ascend® plant growth regulator, for improved germination and uniform emergence. Having your wheat crop emerge and flower at the same time enables more effective management all season.


4. Know your nitrogen needs.

Does the wheat variety you want have a high response to nitrogen (RTN) or is it better able to handle tougher soil conditions with less nitrogen availability? All CROPLAN® wheat varieties are scored as having a low, medium or high response to nitrogen to better help you manage your nitrogen inputs appropriately to help increase ROI potential. If you choose a high-RTN variety, have a plan as to how you’re going to bring that nitrogen to the plant, whether it’s a healthy upfront rate or topdressing.


5. Anticipate your fungicide use.

Similar to nitrogen, different wheat varieties may have a higher or lower response-to-fungicide (RTF) score. A variety with a high response to fungicide can bring a higher chance of optimal ROI when a premium fungicide is applied. If you plan on applying a lower-cost fungicide, selecting a variety with a lower RTF score will likely be adequate.


We have discovered in testing through our Answer Plot® program that a premium fungicide (in this case, Nexicor™ Xemium® brand fungicide) provided a higher response than a generic propiconazole fungicide when applied at flag leaf to two CROPLAN high-RTF wheat varieties:

  • CP3530: Average yield increase, 7.2 bu/A; ROI increase potential, $26.26*

  • CP3099A: Average yield increase, 10.8 bu/A; ROI increase potential, $44.98*


6. Plant at the right population.

Wheat varieties have different responses to population (RTP) and it’s critical to adhere to the recommended population on the seed bag. For example, if a CROPLAN variety has a recommended planting population of 1.2 million seeds per acre, plants will likely put on a bigger head and more tillers. If you push that to 1.8 million seeds per acre, the heads will likely shrink; the tillers will disappear; and stems may get finer, causing the plant to fall over and making harvest difficult. Plus, you’ll have roughly the same number of kernels you would have had with the lower population. On the flip side, if you choose a variety that should be planted at a population of 1.8 million seeds per are, it will probably stand tall and yield optimally. But if you drop the population, the wheat head won’t flex, you won’t get more tillers or kernels, and yield potential may be lost.


Ready to dive into wheat?

If you’re a farmer who is willing to take some calculated risks using WinField® United data and our advice on timing and products, and who wants to push the limits of your production capabilities, CROPLAN wheat varieties might be right for you. Talk with your trusted advisor about selecting the right wheat varieties to help you help you achieve your goals and set some new ones.


*$5.20 HRSW price based on Sept ’20 wheat future as of 5-8-20; national wholesale price of Nexicor™ is $220.25/gal or $11.18/A. Field information based on 2019 Answer Plot data.


Due to factors outside of Winfield United’s control, such as weather, product application, and other factors, results to be obtained, including but not limited to yields, financial performance, or profits, cannot be predicted or guaranteed by Winfield United. Results are based upon controlled tests and field trials and actual results may vary.


All photos are either the property of WinField United or used with permission.
Important: Before use always read and follow label instructions. Crop performance is dependent on several factors many of which are beyond the control of WinField United, including without limitation, soil type, pest pressures, agronomic practices, and weather conditions. Growers are encouraged to consider data from multiple locations, over multiple years, and be mindful of how such agronomic conditions could impact results.
© 2020 WinField United. Answer Plot®, Ascend®, CROPLAN®, Warden® and WinField® are trademarks of WinField United.
Nexicor™ and Xemium® are trademarks of BASF.

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