Chuck Nelson and his sons, Jason and Aaron, have had good luck with hard red spring wheat in recent years.
They've produced 16% protein wheat that has averaged 100 bushels per acre – and not just once. The Thompson, N.D., farmers have had several 90-100 bushel wheat with 14-16% protein in recent years.
One key to their success is split fertilizer applications. In the fall or spring, they apply urea or anhydrous ammonia according to soil test results. They add starter fertilizer with the seed and stream on 10-20 gallons per acre of 28-0-0 liquid fertilizer when the crop is in the 4-5 leaf stage. Seven to 10 days later they apply another 10-20 gallons per acre of 28% liquid N. They topdress on cool days, in the evening, at night or when cool weather and rain is forecast.
"We think the first shot helps up with yield and the second boosts yield and protein," Chuck says.
Another secret to producing high yield and high protein wheat is the right varities. They need to have the yield and protential potentional, strong straw and disease resistance. The Nelsons, who sell seed, get an early look at varieties because they set aside land for plot trails and demonstrations.
"The genetics are great today," Chuck says. "They can do it."
He especially likes Limagrain's Albany and Iguazu for their farm.
Read more in the March issue of Dakota Farmer.