Wisconsin winter wheat looks good so far

An agronomist says much of the Wisconsin winter wheat crop looks very good so far.  Bob Berkovich with Pioneer tells Brownfield the early soybean harvest last fall helped farmers get winter wheat planted earlier.  He says a warm October helped the wheat grow before winter set in. “We’re finally starting to see it green up a little bit although with the cooler temperatures it is a little bit slower to green up than normal, but still, that doesn’t have me that concerned and I really do think that the wheat is going to be in good shape here moving forward.”

Berkovich says this might be the year when wheat growers consider splitting the nitrogen application. “A lot of times, we recommend getting our nitrogen out there on the wheat really early during that green up phase, which helps those wheat plants develop more tillers, and that’s a good thing because we need strong tiller counts to drive yield potential. This year, our tiller counts look to be pretty strong already.”

And because of that early strength, Berkovich says it might be wise to apply some of the nitrogen later when the plants will benefit more from it.  He also says the thicker canopy can promote disease, so with an already-thick canopy, adding nitrogen now might cause more canopy growth and promote disease.

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