Ohio Farmer

Manage Wheat Seeding Carefully

Choosing the best varieites and planting after the fly-free date are cticial to getting wheat off to a good start.

September 16, 2013

2 Min Read

Ohio State University specialist are reminding farmers to plant the new wheat crop after the Hessian Fly Safe date for your county. The Hessian Fly free dates can be found here. These dates vary between September 22 for northern counties and October 5 for the southern-most counties. Planting within the first 10 days after the recommended fly-safe date minimizes the risk of serious problems with Hessian Fly.


This is because on the dates indicated on the map, the weather conditions, especially temperature, are unfavorable for the Hessian fly. As a result, damage caused by this insect will likely be less if wheat is planted after the specific date. However, in Ohio the Hessian fly-safe date is not only about the Hessian fly. Another excellent reason to plant wheat after the fly-safe date is to minimize problems with diseases, especially barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV). BYDV is transmitted by aphids and tends to be most severe when transmission occurs in the fall. Research has shown that due to unfavorable weather conditions, the aphid population tends to crash after the fly safe date, leading to fewer problems with BYDV. Planting date studies conducted here at OSU a few years ago showed that BYDV problems and yield loss associated with this disease are much higher when wheat is planted well before the fly-safe date. Planting after the fly-safe date also minimizes early establishment of other diseases such as Stagonospora blotch and leaf rust.

The specialists also urge farmers to select high-yielding seed varieties with high test weight, good straw strength and adequate disease resistance. Do not jeopardize your investment by planting poor quality seeds or by planting anything but the best yielding varieties that also have resistance to the important diseases in your area. Depending on your area of the state, you may need good resistance to powdery mildew, Stagonospora leaf blotch, head scab, and/or leaf rust. Plant healthy, wholesome, clean (remove shriveled kernels), and disease-free seeds, and make sure that the entire seed lot is treated, whether or not the seeds appear to be diseased. In Ohio, seed-borne wheat diseases such as common bunt and loose smut are rarely ever major concerns because growers routinely plant seeds treated with fungicide.

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