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Agronomists Offer Advice for Planting Wheat Into Residue

Agronomists Offer Advice for Planting Wheat Into Residue

Nitrogen, seeding rate and variety are all factors to consider when planting wheat crop.

Where row crops are just now being harvested and moisture is adequate, producers may be planning to plant wheat, even in early November. Kansas State University agronomists Jim Shroyer and Dorivar Ruiz Diaz encourage them to consider several important factors when planting wheat into sorghum, soybean, or sunflower residue.

The first consideration is nitrogen. Ideally, The amount of nitrogen to be applied should be based on the results of a soil profile N test, but there is often not enough time to do this before planting the wheat. As a result, the N rate to use is usually based primarily on yield goals.

Planting Wheat Into Residue

For wheat being planted into soybean residue, growers should use their normal rate of N. For wheat following grain sorghum or sunflowers, they should add an extra 30 pounds of N per acre to the normal rate. If previous crop yields were severely reduced, it's best if possible, to take a profile N test to assess potential carryover nitrogen, which can be significant after a crop failure. 

If the wheat will be no-tilled, the agronomists suggest an additional 20 pounds of N above the normal rate. In any cropping system, it's a good idea to use starter fertilizer (such as 18-46-0, 11-52-0, or 10-34-0) if equipment is available. The remainder of the N needed can be applied during the late fall or winter months.

The second consideration is seeding rate. For wheat doublecropped after soybeans or sunflowers, plant at the rate of at least 90 pounds of seed per acre. For wheat doublecropped after grain sorghum, use 120 pounds  per acre.

A third consideration is variety. Use the same variety you would use for full-season wheat.

More information about crop production is available on the K-State Research and Extension agronomy website: Information about wheat production is also available on Facebook at K-State Wheat. 
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