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Wheat School: The key to planting in dry soils

By: RealAgriculture Agronomy Team

October 4, 2017

View the non-AMP version.

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Whatever you do, get out there and plant your wheat.

That’s the message agronomist Peter Johnson has for Ontario wheat growers in this episode of the Wheat School. “Either plant into moisture or plant in dust,” says Johnson, who notes that many growers across the province are hesitant to plant because of widespread dry soil conditions.

Many growers argue that you should leave wheat in the bag until it rains. “That’s all bad news,” says Johnson, “because once it rains it may never stop. If it’s in the ground at an inch and a quarter, once it rains it will start to grow.”

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Johnson says it’s critical to get wheat planted as soon as possible because early planting strongly correlates with higher yields. “If growers can get to moisture, that’s the right choice.” But how deep is too deep? “If it’s early in the fall and it’s warm, plant to moisture even if its three inches deep,” he says.

“It will take a little more heat to get the wheat out of the ground, but it will still bounce out of the ground and you’ll have a nice, even stand,” says Johnson