What is in this article?:
- 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.
Seed rate and the N factor matter, too
Seeding rate should be based on seeds per acre. It’s more accurate than seeding based on weight per acre. “Multiple seeding rates studies have been conducted throughout the southeastern U.S. Most show that seeding 1.2 million to 1.5 million seeds per acre is optimum. This is equal to seeding about 30 - 35 seeds per square foot,” Lee says. Of course to get this, a grower needs to know seed size, or number of seeds per pound.
Good yields need well-timed fertilizer. Know the soil’s potential, cultivar, realistic yield goal, previous crop and residual N. For expected wheat yields of 40 to 70 bushels per acre, use a total N rate of 80 to 100 pounds per acre. Higher yields likely require 100 to 130 pounds of N per acre or more.
Apply nitrogen in the fall is critical to encourage good tiller production prior to the onset of winter.
Based on the previous crop rotation, in general, apply N with these rates:
- Cotton: 35 to 40 lbs ac
- Corn: 30 to 35 lbs ac
- Fallow: 25 to 30 lbs ac
- Soybeans: 15 to 20 lbs ac
- Peanuts: 0 to 15 lbs ac
Don’t over over-fertilize with nitrogen in the fall. It can cause excessive growth resulting in winter damage. When the wheat crop reaches the growth stage Zadoks GS 25, count tillers to determine the need for more nitrogen applications for the proper tiller production prior to the onset of stem elongation. This stage generally occurs in January in south Georgia and late January to mid-February farther north.
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