Friday, September 6, 2019

Winter Wheat Planting

I spent 2019 thinking that the fall planting would go in the north end of the field.  This part of the field had nothing since the 2018 spring crop of Marquis, only successive plantings of oats and peas.  I figured the south end would have to wait for dryer conditions.

However, I was able to get into the south end by early July and worked it up several times.  Each time I killed more weeds and I felt the soil looked pretty good.  I also put about ten loads of compost down, and it looked pretty clean after the rain came.  So I decided to put the fall planting in the south end.

I did considerable research and hemming and hawing over the planting date.  Conventional wisdom said I should wait until after September 20.  I posted the question online and all the academics were against planting earlier than the 20th, due to the risk of hessian fly and aphids.

I could not get a good answer to the simple question, "what am I risking by planting earlier?"  I know that last year the stand was not well established, and I suffered a lot of winter kill.  Old publications say wheat should be planted in late August or early September.  The amish I met out in western WI planted in late August, and a couple people online said the same thing. 

I decided to plant on Sept 9.  I know from watching previous years that if it started raining in the second half of month, all options would start to look pretty bad.  In practice, this is what happened.  Rain started around Sep 15, and I don't know of a single local farmer who planted winter wheat in 2019.  The rains just caused the planting window to close in.

It ended up that I planted 1.7 acres of Wisconsin No 2, at a rate of 130 lbs/acre.  I was using notch 20 on the drill.  I suspect that plumper wheat would have ended up lower than 130.  At any rate, I would have preferred around 110.

Although at this point I'm getting sick of all the small plots of seed that I'm growing out, I still continued with the Krymka, Goldcoin, Red May, and Early Noe.  They are tucked in to the Northeast corner.

The test plot/grow out area in the NE corner.

Tire placement, for reference.

The IH 330 really ran well this season.

Krymka is the largest planting, the most northerly of the plots.

Goldcoin is all the way east, and between the WN2 and Krymka.

Red May is just west of the Goldcoin.

I don't know what I will do with the Early Noe, but I want to maintain the seed stock.

Notch 20

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