Goodland farmer Mike Sieck says nothing is more important to a good wheat yield than adequate preparation of the seed bed.
Sieck addressed the ProfitMaximizer Wheat Summit in Wichita last week and talked about getting maximum yield from the wheat fields he farms with his father, Melvin, and brother, Mark.
The Sieck family farm rotation focuses on wheat, dryland corn and fallow. Corn is no-tilled into wheat stubble the spring after wheat harvest. In the fall after corn harvest, the land is chem.-fallowed, then tilled.
"I like a very firm seedbed to enable the stands to be more uniform and adequate for seeding depth," Sieck says. "We actually use a packer the last two operations, in conjunction with a field conditioner at a shallow depth, to conserve moisture in the top few inches."
A consistent seedbed ensures even emergence, with seeding depth depending upon moisture availability. His fertilizer program features a pre-plant application of phosphorous, followed by application of nitrogen and sulfur in January or February via ground sprayer equipped with stream banders.
Sieck, who sells Agseco wheat seed, applies Gaucho XT seed treatment to all his own seed prior to planting. The product combines fungicide and insecticide to give better control of aphids and Hessian fly in the fall. Even if the variety is resistant to Hessian fly, the seed treatment seems to improve plant stem strength, resulting in better standability at harvest. Routinely, fungicides also are applied in the spring.