These agronomy tips have been compiled by members of MFA's professional agronomy staff. MFA has more than 80 certified crop advisors working across MFA's trade territory. Advanced professional training classes offered by MFA keep our employees informed of current production and environmental issues.
Harmony or Harmony Extra controls garlic and broadleaf weeds; make application from the two leaf stage and prior to flag leaf emergence.
The use of 2,4-D amine or ester formulations can be used from full tiller to joint stage on winter wheat. Do not apply after the joint stage has begun. A pre-harvest treatment may be used when the grain is in the hard dough stage.
Planting wheat one week before to one week after the first frost is generally an ideal time for wheat planting due to ideal soil temperatures that favor rapid emergence, plenty of time for fall tillering and the root system to be developed. It also generally puts you past the Hessian fly-free period. Planting wheat too late may lead to poor tillering and root growth. Wheat that is planted too early may lead to excessive fall growth, potential Hessian fly problems and promotion of early disease.
Seed placement is critical and can generally only be controlled by drilling the wheat. Seed placement will influence uniformity, emergence, final stand and yield potential of winter wheat. Planting wheat too shallow may lead to poor germination, poor soil-to-seed contact, frost heaving and can influence winter hardiness. Planting wheat too deep can lead to poor emergence and may limit fall growth and tillering. Optimum seeding depth for wheat is generally 1- to 1 1/2- inches deep.
The optimum seeding rate for winter wheat is 1.5 million wheat seeds per acre but can vary depending on planting date, soil texture and planned use of the crop. You should plant wheat based on seeds per acre and not pounds per acre.
Wheat can require large quantities of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen recommendations will vary according to potential yield goal, soil type, organic matter content in the soil and the previous crop. Wheat can remove approximately 1.3 pounds of nitrogen, .60 pounds of phosphorus and .40 pounds of potassium, .10 pounds of sulfur per bushel of grain. It's important to supply the wheat crop with the appropriate amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to obtain potential yield goals. For efficient nitrogen application, you should split apply the total amount of nitrogen needed for the wheat crop, typically applying 20 to 30 percent of the needed nitrogen in the fall at planting and the remaining balance in the spring.
To maximize wheat yields soil test levels of phosphorus, potassium and lime should be at optimum level. Then apply the recommended amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium based on yield goal.