Broadcasting wheat seed with fertilizer is the only way to go on my farm, says 2012 North Carolina Wheat Yield Champion Allen Weeks.

Weeks won the North Carolina Wheat Yield Competition last year with 119 bushels per acre. On his total wheat acreage, he averaged about 90 bushels per acre, which is higher than the target yield he shoots for each year.

The North Carolina grower has been farming much of the same land for 38 years and is currently farming more than a thousand acres of primarily grain crops.

“I try to split it up into about a third in corn, a third in wheat and a third in new beans. He also grows cabbage and soybeans behind wheat,” he says.

Fall weather is often the limiting factor in how many acres of wheat he plants. The heavy soils of northeast North Carolina tend to get wet and stay wet in the fall and that sometimes determines whether you get all the wheat planted you want to plant, he says.

The 2011 fall planting season was virtually perfect, allowing Weeks to plant all his wheat. “Then, the problem is having the time, when the weather is right to plant, because we’re usually in the middle of harvesting soybeans,” he adds.

The combination of good prices for wheat and beans is a big incentive to get both crops planted and harvested efficiently. Jumping through the window when the window is open has been a problem in the past, the North Carolina grower admits. His long-time Extension Ag Agent Al Wood agrees.

“Wheat more so than any other crop we plant in eastern North Carolina is affected by planting time weather,” says Wood. “In years like last year, we had good planting time weather in the fall, and the crop was good from start to harvest. In past years, fall weather hasn’t been nearly so good,” Wood says.

Wood, who has worked with Weeks since he first started broadcasting wheat three years ago, says the practice has to be done right, or it can be a disaster. For anyone thinking about taking this approach this fall, they better be sure the applicator knows how to blend the seed and fertilizer and that the applicator applies the blend in an over-lap pattern that insures a good stand, Wood cautions.