Southern Spotlight: What To Do When You’re A Bored Wheat Grower In February

James Banahan

James Banahan

It started for me on January 16th as it does every year.  The doldrums.  Work is…quieter.  It will continue to be, until about Valentine’s Day, when suddenly, the wheat will start to perk back up, and the game will wind up again.

Until then, I’m in more meetings than you want to know.

You?  Well, for you wheat growers, you too are in the eye of the storm, so to speak.  You’re in the calm waters for a few weeks.  But you know.  You know that that wheat is going to spring out of dormancy sometime soon (sooner if this weather keeps up).

Are you ready?

Now is the time to get your ducks in a row as you prepare to make decisions about the chemistry and fertility programs that you’ll go forward with.  Do you remember what you did to your fields four months ago?  Does your Field Sales Agronomist know this?  No?  Then this is the perfect time to check your records and make us a friendly call.


The big question regards your topdressing plans.  Are you considering just one trip through your fields this season?  Or two or three?  (Though it takes the most effort, I’m a proponent of three trips for raising the best wheat.  However, theories differ and I’m happy to hear your take on it.)  How and when will you apply your chemistry?  What will you apply?  How about a fungicide?

For those of you further south with the freedom to plant wheat on wheat, you have the extra (hopefully small) burden of dealing with cheat grass.  If you’re experiencing a problem with it, you may have applied Olympus to your fields in the fall.  If you did or are uncertain about if you did, check your records!  You’ll likely make another pass with it this spring, but the rate of your fall application is a critical piece of knowledge for getting the spring application correct so that it is effective.

If you’ve been reading through my little list here and checking things off like a boss, then you’re ahead of the game, and that’s never a bad place to be!  I’ll say lastly to you that if you’re planning to use co-op services at all, be sure to have your maps turned in.

If you’ve been reading through my little list though and are thinking, “Hmm…two passes or three?  Or Fungicide? Or that FSA—what was his name again?”  Well then, you’re living in the perfect moment to start answering those questions because wheat growers, this is the most boring time of year.  I hope you’ll use it well and feel prepared because though you’re bored now, that wheat is going to rattle and roll so very soon.  Then the games begin again.