Wheat planting season is here according to NC State Small Grain Specialist Dr. Randy Weisz:
“I’ve already planted in Laurel Springs. And a lot of my colleagues are planting this week. If you are in the Piedmont these are the ideal days to plant, and in a week many places in the coastal plain will be in the ideal time as well. Growers should be getting ready, drills calibrated, ready to go.”
With corn coming out early, the temptation was certainly there to plant wheat early, but Weisz says for the most part growers have waited:
“There are growers who are adopting this early planting system that we have developed and I think they’d be ok. As long as they are using that system carefully, which involves late heading varieties and treating them with insecticidal seed treatments and planting them at reduced seeding rates. There are a lot that do that so they can get wheat planted close to after when they get their corn out.”
In addition to double-cropping wheat behind corn, Weisz anticipates wheat going in behind cotton and soybeans:
“I think growers will be planting every square foot they can. There are estimates of 1.2 million acres of wheat this year in NC. I think we will be driving down the highways and seeing wheat in every available acre, including behind people’s houses.”
Next week we’ll visit with Randy Weisz about planting wheat behind sorghum on Inside Agriculture.