News > Articles > All About Wheat

All About Wheat

Sep 04, 2021

So Jeff, we're in a pretty nice looking field of wheat here, not too bad around here, seems like you got some decent moisture, got a decent start on the season, anyway. We're really excited about our crop prospects and this is the time of the year when we try to add on to the fungicide disease control, and hopefully we'll harvest a great crop here in about 40 days. I'm Tim Mundorf, Nutrient Management Lead here at CVA, and I'm with Jeff Jensby, our Regional Sales Manager, down here in the Kansas area. So Jeff, kind of walk us through a little bit, what's it take to get to this point, as we're walking through our wheat crop and making our decisions, there are some good decisions that have to have happened to get to this point.

My grandpa said about 95% of all of your management decisions are made once the drill leaves the field after you've planted the crop, and with wheat, variety selection is one of those key things, so it's tillering, disease resistance, yield under drought, stress, all those kinds of things, and we at CVA do a lot of work there behind the scenes, and we do a lot of blending of different wheat varieties so that we can have a really good beginning start there. Secondly, planning rates are terribly important.

This field, it looks like we've had a really good stand, we're looking around a million seeds per acre. If we go later into November, maybe we're drilling wheat after soybeans, we would go higher populations, but we're really after a million seeds or a million plants and four to five, four to six tillers proceed to give us a crop with a 60 to 80 bushel yield potential like this one. You know when guys talk about some of that lower yielding wheat, they'll talk about how it's a low input crop, but really, if you want to raise that 50, 60, 70 bushel wheat, you've got to have some decent fertility out there, don't you? Absolutely, you can't save yourself into prosperity, and we're kind of, we've got to think about that with wheat. Wheat is a high protein grain. It takes nitrogen and sulfur to make protein and to make yield, and so here, I mean, it's kind of hard to believe, but if you do the math, it's about two and a half pounds of nitrogen to make a bushel of wheat yield, and people say, what are you thinking? But no, that's absolutely true, sulfur deficient a lot of times in our wheat crop. When I was in college, 30 years ago, they taught us 14 parts nitrogen to one part sulfur.

Today, they're saying 10 parts nitrogen to one part sulfur, so our CVA teams really working with growers to make sure that we had the sulfur component in the fertility program. You know, a lot of guys think about, well, I'm going to mineralize some organic matter, that's going to give me some sulfur, that's going to give me some nitrogen, maybe some phosphorus as well. But one of the tough things about a winter annual, like wheat, is a lot of that growing season, there just isn't a lot of mineralization going on out there, it's cold temperatures. That's right, so even though we're following soybeans, we really can't give ourselves much nitrogen credit.

As you can see, the soils might've got up to, I think, 50 degrees at the foreign step level, maybe two weeks ago, so we don't really give ourself much of a nitrogen credit, we'd got to have the nutrients out there for the crop. And when you talk about that green-up nitrogen or that top dress nitrogen when you're coming into wheat, what are you thinking about as you assess that crop and make a decision about what that second shot of nitrogen should be like? So, usually with split shot nitrogen with wheat or cereal grains, one plus one equals three. We've got to have nitrogen upfront and sulfur in the fall to get the crop started. But when we come back in March, we're going to get the nitrogen and sulfur, those nutrients out there. But we're also going to think about a green-up fungicide at that point in time, just to keep plant health and keep everything growing up to this point today, so we have really good prospects for high yielding crop.

The fact that we're protecting that yield with the fungicide, we're also allowing that crop to stay greener longer, make the use of that nitrogen that we added later, and really push that yield both in weight, protein, all the above. You bet. And, like I say, we've got a good population here. We've got good tillering, I think we've got a good yield potential here, but the last thing, it's honestly, I was thinking the other day, Tim, it's the quickest payoff of a fungicide application in agriculture, and that is a fungicide application at flag leaf in hard red winter wheat. Because we're going to pay for that input today, we're going to harvest the results in 45 days. You can't do that any faster, anywhere else. Excellent. All right, well with Jeff Jensby, our Regional Sales Manager down here in Kansas, I'm Tim Mundorf, Nutrient Management Lead.


Read More News

Apr 22, 2022
Central Valley Ag (CVA) is pleased to announce winners of the 2022 CVA Scholarships. Twenty students pursuing a career in an agriculturally related field won awards of $1,000 each.  
Apr 11, 2022
The Central Valley Ag Board of Directors is made up of local, agricultural leaders, who are recognized for their industry expertise, as well as economic and community development skills. The board...
Feb 22, 2022
Central Valley Ag Cooperative has announced a transition of the leadership of its board of directors. Dave Beckman, previous board chairman, has stepped down from chairman. Luke Carlson, a board...