6 Ways to Position Your Wheat Crop for Success when Rotating from Canola

6 Ways to Position Your Wheat Crop for Success when Rotating from Canola
Dennis Christie
Yukon, OK
Breaking the cycle of weed, insect and disease pressure in your wheat fields is an important advantage of growing canola. So once you’ve harvested the crop, you only have one chance to realize the full rotational benefit to help boost the yield potential of your next wheat crop.
Your wheat seed has its highest yield potential when it’s still in the bag. Everything you do after planting helps protect that yield, so here are six ways to exploit the rotation when planting back to wheat.
Step 1: Manage your field in smaller sections. Sit down with your agronomist to analyze satellite imagery, field variability, historical field data and past yields to divide your field into different management zones. After identifying the most productive areas of your field, you can develop variable rate prescriptions for seeding and fertility treatments to help optimize the potential of each acre.
Step 2: Provide a clean seed bed. If you’re rotating from Roundup Ready® Canola, you likely eliminated many grassy weeds that were present in your last wheat crop. But making a burndown application can still help prevent competition from weeds and kill off volunteers that might be harboring wheat curl mites – the carriers of wheat streak mosaic virus – or other insect pests such as fall armyworm or grasshoppers.
Step 3: Select the right variety. Factors like maturity, standability, response to intensive management, forage production, end use characteristics and resistance to disease differ between varieties, so its best to consult your locally owned and operated WinField® United retailer for assistance in selecting the right CROPLAN® wheat seed for your acres. If you’re located in a winter wheat geography, winterhardiness and Hessian fly resistance are also important considerations when selecting a variety.
Step 4: Use seed treatments. Warden® Cereals HR and Warden Cereals 360 seed treatments help protect seedlings against early season diseases like Fusarium, Rhizoctonia and Pythium and suppress wireworm activity, aphids and aphid vectored barley yellow dwarf virus. Warden Cereals HR also helps suppress early season Hessian fly activity in geographies where the pest is of concern.
Going a step further, Warden Cereals 360 seed treatment includes Ascend® plant growth regulator (PGR), which aids in early germination, emergence and root growth. This combination of ingredients can help improve plant vigor and increase stand count – especially in stressful conditions.
Step 5: Create a smart fertility program. You’re asking a lot of a nitrogen (N) application if you put it all down as a pre-plant, especially if you produce winter wheat. Instead utilize the results of soil tests and NutriSolutions® tissue tests and make a split application or even three variable rate N applications over the course of the growing season to get the most out of your input investment and give your crop exactly what it needs, when it needs it. Also make sure you fulfill your crop’s phosphorus (P), potassium (K), zinc (Zn) and sulfur (S) requirements to optimize yield potential.
Step 6: Prevent foliar diseases. There are several diseases that could impact your wheat crop in any given season, so scout your fields and be ready to apply a fungicide if conditions warrant it. Using different fungicides can be a good practice to help improve efficacy and manage resistance. And if you make a second foliar application in a split fungicide program, or maybe a late application for Fusarium head blight, be sure to do it before wheat heads out so you can follow the required pre-harvest interval (PHI) requirements according to the label.
Need more help optimizing your canola to wheat rotation? Reach out to your locally owned and operated WinField United retailer.
© 2020 WinField United. 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. Ascend®, CROPLAN®, NutriSolutions®, Warden® and WinField® are trademarks of WinField United. Roundup Ready® are registered trademarks used under license from Bayer Group.