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- As of Nov. 11, 30 percent of the wheat crop is in the ground in Georgia, on pace with the five-year average. About half the expected wheat is planted in Alabama, a bit ahead of the five-year average.
- Planting wheat at the right time is critical. Planting too early or too late reduces yield.
Cooler, freezing temperatures have hit the South, kicking wheat planting into higher gears. The 2014 cropping season begins.
Planting dates matter
Planting wheat at the right time is critical. Planting too early or too late reduces yield. The optimum window for wheat planting in Georgia is typically one week before the average first frost date for a given area and one week after frost, Lee says.
“Planting during the appropriate time for your area will allow wheat to develop enough tillers prior to January or early February which reduces the likelihood of needing to apply two applications of Nitrogen fertilizer in the spring. Fall produced tillers will have stronger root systems, larger heads with better capacity for high test weight and consequently, tolerate more stress,” Lee says.
Pick the right variety. Vernalization requirement varies widely. For wheat to vernalize, temperatures must remain low for a specific length of time. Without the cold, wheat waits until enough heat units are accumulated before heading. This delay can cause wheat to fill the grain during a hot and dry time of the year such as May or early June.
Create traffic patterns, or tramlines, in the field. In intensively managed wheat, they can make applying uniform, precise sprays much easier. They can be used as guides for repeated applications and save on aerial applications.