Consistency Key To Wheat Yield

The search for bin-busting wheat hasn’t gone away even as some farmers are unhappy with the economics of growing the crop.

Phil Needham, owner of Needham Ag Technologies in Kentucky, was in Ridgetown recently sharing tips with farmers on how to get much bigger yields and he says inconsistency in a number of practices are real problems.

He says lack of consistency that includes seeding rate and depth and fertilizer application can hurt potential yields and uneven residue cover is also something to think about.

“If you are no-till or even if you are tilling the ground if the residue isn’t spread evenly there is going be some differentials with soil temperature and nutrient load as a result of the residue,” he says. “Successful wheat absolutely begins with residue management at harvest time.”

He says fertilizer application can be another problem if it is uneven because of inconsistent particle size or rolling topography that can alter spread patterns, so he likes liquid applications.

Needham says proper planter selection is another key.

“Getting it with adequate weight to cut through the residue in soil to get the seeds in the ground consistently to get the depth.”

His final tip is to get phosphorus in the row which makes it easier for the plant to access.