“If you have 10 ryegrass plants per square yard it’s going to look a little fuzzy when you look out across that field. So, it’s pretty obvious when it gets time to treat with one of several herbicide options,” he adds.

North Carolina State University Wheat Specialist Randy Weisz stressed to the audience the importance of knowing how many seed they put in the ground. Wheat seed weight varies significantly and just having a set rate of seed per pound can get you in trouble, he says.

Over a period of years, he says the optimum seeding rate of somewhere between 1.3 and 1.5 million seed per acre produces the highest yields. At the low end, 1.3 million seeds is 30 seed per square and 1.5 million seed per acre equates to 35 seed per square foot.

“Unfortunately, most growers don’t plant based on seed per square foot. However, the standard practice of planting pound of seed per acre is not precise enough — not with the high cost of seed, the high cost of planting and caring for those seeds, the high cost of harvesting the crop and the final price the grower receives for the crop,” Weisz says.

“Seed sizes vary each year from field to field, year to year and variety to variety. We’ve got large seeded varieties that have 10,000 seed in a pound, compared to small-seeded varieties that have 15,000 seed per pound.”

That creates a real dilemma for growers. If they follow the North Carolina State planting guidelines of 30 to 35 seed per square foot, the seed per acre could range from 85 pounds per acre to 152 pounds per acre, depending on seed size.

“When you get ready to plant wheat this fall, look on the seed bag — it will tell you how many seed per pound in that bag. Then, you can look at page 23 in the 2011 North Carolina Wheat Production Guide and look at the conversion chart on that page,” Weisz explains.

“For example, using conventional-tillage, planting a variety with 12,000 seed per pound, it’s easy to convert that to 109-127 pounds of that bag of seed per acre,” he adds

North Carolina State Extension Associate, Georgia Love, showed the farmers attending the event the results of a fungicide timing study that visually showed the affects of applying fungicides on wheat that was in the flag-leaf stage at application.