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Winter Wheat Variety Selection Critical to Top Yields

For some operations, blend of varieties is recommended.

Bob Klein, cropping systems specialist at UNL's West Central Research and Extension Center, says yield potential one of the most important factors.

"If we have a good wheat variety and it doesn't yield, then it's not going to be very important to us," Klein says.

Stubble height is especially important in ecofallow operations. "In irrigated fields, producers will look at lodging resistance, because if wheat goes down and you have to pick it up off the ground, your harvest suffers," he adds.

Klein recommends that most producers diversify their variety selection.

"Make sure to select varieties that are not closely related, that they're from different families," Klein says. "If all your varieties are from the same family, you might as well plant just one variety."

With a diverse selection of varieties, a producer can protect against one insect pest or one disease damaging or destroying the entire year's production.

For smaller operations where planting several varieties isn't practical, Klein recommends using blends. A blend is a selection of three or four varieties mixed together to give the crop some of the advantages provided by diversification.

Planting several winter wheat varieties can boost yields with a number of advantages not yet available in one perfect wheat hybrid.

TAGS: Wheat
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