Western Kansas

By Monte Hampton

Ford County Extension Agriculture Agent

This fall, planting, needless to say, has been an unusual year for most producers.

Dry conditions prevailed early on and delayed planting, followed by late rains. This has left most producers with less than ideal stands. The following information is provided by K-State Research and Extension Specialist to provide some analogies on late planting and emergence.

In 1999, Jim Shroyer, K-State Extension wheat specialist, did a study across eight different counties, in north central and the northwest part of the state. During that fall season, dry conditions prevailed and more than half of the wheat in those counties did not emerge until very late winter or early spring. An experiment was setup to measure the yield effects, comparing wheat that emerged in the fall to that which emerged in the spring. With some help from county Extension agent, yield results were gathered on wheat that had emerged during the fall and samples were taken from areas that emerged in the spring. The fall- and spring-emerged wheat was taken from the same fields, in each case. The conclusion was wheat that emerged in the fall had yields almost twice as much, as wheat that emerged in the spring. The test weight results also were approximately 2.5 pounds per bushel higher with the fall-emerged wheat.

Research done at the Southwest Research-Extension Center, by Merle Witt, provides some idea of how much yield potential is lost, if reseeding is done at this point. According to the study, wheat was planted every month on the first day of the month until April, with Oct. 1 as the ideal planting date for that location. The data showed that generally there is approximately a 20% drop in yield for every month planting was delayed.

Replanting may be an option especially where stands have been unusually thin. How thin is to thin? Shroyer recommends where stands are only 30% or less of the desired seeding rate, replanting may then be a good idea. However, if the stand is 50% or more of the desired seeding rate, then reseeding will not be necessary.

For more information on late planting and emergence of wheat, contact the county Extension agent.

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