Ed Twidwell & Steve Harrison
LSU School of Plant Environmental & Soil Sciences
Data from the LSU AgCenter wheat and oat performance trials have been posted at: http://www.agronomy.lsu.edu/LSUWheat/LSUWHEAT.html. This information should be used by growers to help choose varieties for planting this fall. In August the Wheat Research Summary publication will be placed on the LSU AgCenter website at the following address:
The LSU AgCenter trials for 2012 were plagued by weather-related problems. No yield data were collected from south Louisiana due to poor stands, severe lodging, failure to vernalize and other issues. The data at Bossier City and Alexandria were of marginal quality and was not published.
Wheat prices have surged recently, resulting in increased demand and a potentially short supply of wheat seed for planting this fall. Growers should consider booking wheat seed quickly in order to have access to the better varieties this fall.
To spread out their risks, growers should look at the two-year data tables and select several different wheat varieties to plant this fall. It is not a good idea to plant all of their acreage to one single variety. Yield is the most obvious consideration in choosing varieties, but other factors also influence profitability:
- Disease susceptibility – a single $20 fungicide application is equal to about four bushels in yield. Stripe rust and leaf rust susceptible varieties frequently require fungicides inLouisiana.
- Insect resistance – Hessian Fly was not an issue in Louisiana in 2011 or 2012 so there may not be data available for the newest varieties.
- Test weight – a low test weight can result in dockage at the elevator. Test weight is influenced by weather conditions following grain dry down and prompt harvest is important. Test weight is strongly influenced by genetics such that varieties with low average test weights in the data tables are likely to have low test weight in most environments.
4. Lodging resistance – lodging increases harvest costs and decreases yield and test weight.
Recommended planting dates for wheat range from October 15 to November15 innorthLouisianaand from November 1 to November30 incentral and southLouisiana. Planting wheat earlier than the recommended planting dates will subject the plants to greater insect and disease pressure and also makes the plants more prone to winter injury due to excessive fall growth. Wheat can be planted later (two weeks past the recommended window) but this increases the probability of stand loss and reduces tillering due to wet weather and shortened growing season. Seeding rates should be increased when planting late and into cold wet soil.
Planting wheat with a grain drill is the preferred method because it allows uniform depth of planting and results in a more uniform stand. A seeding rate of 60 to75 poundsper acre of high quality seed planted into a good seedbed with adequate moisture is satisfactory for drilling. Adjust the seeding rate up from 75 to120 poundsper acre for broadcast planting, late planting, or planting into a poorly prepared seedbed.
Fall fertilization and liming should be carried out to supply any needs indicated by soil testing. Phosphorus and potassium, where recommended, should be incorporated into the seedbed before planting. If lime is recommended, apply before seedbed preparation if possible. Fall application of nitrogen is usually not needed where wheat follows soybeans. Where wheat follows corn, sorghum or rice, application of 15 to20 poundsof nitrogen per acre may be beneficial.