Lebanon Crop Management Video

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01 September 2016

Small Grain Planting Considerations




Del Voight- Penn State Extension - Crop Management Team
I am beginning to get some questions pertaining to planting small grains this fall. Here are some tips that might assist you with your planting decisions. I would still adhere to the Penn State ideal planting date chart.
·         Variety Selection-A big decision is what variety to plant. Varieties can vary as much as 30bu/acre in a given test plot.  Local reporting as well as Industry reports is vital to selection.  Penn State tests numerous varieties those are available for online viewing at http://smallgrains.psu.edu/

·         Rotations- It is discouraged to plant wheat in a rotation with Corn. Diseases namely Take All, a fusarium species, and also head scab- fusarium, can cause tremendous losses. Some growers I discussed this with noted a 40 bu/acre loss from the disease. It is almost entirely avoided through a rotation with soybeans or other broadleaf crop.
·         To purchase seed or not?  First of all if the variety you have in hand has a legally binding agreement that limits saving the seed, you may not be able to replant it. Otherwise if one decides to replant the seed from last spring one needs to be sure to test the seed and utilize a seed treatment. If the test comes back below 80% then the decision should be to use certified seed.  
o   Another consideration with seed treatments is which product to utilize.  Visit this link for a partial list of products and their affect on disease.  If your area is prone to fall aphid or hessian fly activity also consider insecticide treatments containing imadicloparid for management of fall insect pressure. 





·        RELATIVE EFFICACY OF FUNGICIDE SEED TREATMENTS FOR MANAGEMENT OF CERTAIN DISEASES OF WHEAT IN PENNSYLVANIA
Source: Ohio State University adapted for Pa by Del Voight. Prices subject to change.
Trade name
Active Ingredient
Loose smut
Common bunt
Stagonospora nodorum
Fusarium Head scab
Pythium damping off
Price Per GALLON OR QUART
Allegiance/Dyna-Shield Metalaxyl
Metalaxyl
N
N
N
N
E
$384.75 / gal
Apron XL
Mefenoxam
N
N
N
N
E

Dividend XL
Difenoconazol+ Mefanoxam
E
E
E
G
E
$67.50 / gal
LSP Flowable Fungicide
TBZ
N
G
P
G
N
??
Maxim 4FS
Fludioxonil
N
N
N
G
N
$504.65 / quart
Raxil-Thiram
Tebuconazole Thiram
E
E
E
G
F
$68.75 / gal
Raxil MD
Tebuconazole Metalaxyl
E
E
E
G
E
$80.25 / gal
Raxil XT/Dyna-Shield Small Grains
Tebuconazole Metalaxyl
E
E
E
G
E
$55.85 / gal
RTU-Vitavax-Thiram
Carboxin, Thiram
G
G
F
G
F
??
Vitavax-200
Carboxin, Thiram
G
G
F
G
F
??
Cruzer Maxx Cereals – (insect protection as well)
Thiamethoxam, Mefenoxam and difenoconazole
E
E
E
G
E
$94.55 / gal
a Efficacy based on labeled rates of active ingredient for each product.

b Efficacy rating scale: E=Excellent, G=Good, F=Fair, P=Poor and N=No activity.


·         Seeding date-the date for proper seeding is rapidly approaching. Seeding date does impact the overwintering capability of the crop.  For proper seeding dates the agronomy guide details those dates depending on your farms location in the state.  IF THE PLANTING IS LATER THAN THE IDEAL BE SURE TO INCREASE SEEDING RATES 30% TO COMPENSATE FOR LOSSES DUE TO LATE PLANTINGS. For wheat specifically,
 Seed winter wheat between September 20 and October 3 in Area 1, between September 25 and October 8 in Area 2, and between October 1 and October 15 in Area 3 (Figure 1.7-1). 
Seed Depth
Seed 1.0 to 1.25 inches deep. Maintain a uniform seeding depth. 
Seeding Rate
The desired plant population for winter wheat is 1.3 to 1.5 million per acre (28 to 34 plants/sq ft). This requires a seeding rate between 1.5 and 1.7 million seeds per acre or 20–23 seeds per foot in a 7-inch row. Use the lower rates in Area 3 and the higher rates in Areas 1 and 2. The seeding rate should be based on the number of seeds per acre rather than pounds per acre. 
     10,000 seeds per pound (should be on the bag) would indicate the need to set planter at 150lbs per acre. where as if the seeds per pound 12,000 then 125lbs per acre would need to be set on the planter to reach the 1.5 million seeds per acre.  Refer to the agronomy guide when estimating the appropriate seeding rate for various drill row spacings.  Increase these rates when seeding under poor conditions such as a cloddy seedbed or a delayed planting date. When seeding more than 2 weeks following the fly-free date, later increase the seeding rate by 10 percent for each week delayed past that date. Do not delay seeding winter wheat because of dry soil. If fall pasture is desired, plant 1 to 2 weeks earlier and apply 40 pounds of nitrogen per acre in addition to recommended fall rates. 
·         No till Considerations – When no tilling small grains be sure to spread the residue evenly and increase seeding rates by about 15% to compensate for seed to soil contact issues.  One area that I run into frequently is seeding depth. The seed placement should strive to get the seed in the soil at a one inch depth. To measure this be sure to rule out the residue (that is not considered soil).  It is one inch of soil above the seed.  Slow down!  It appears that with larger equipment the faster the drill travels the more it rides up out of the soil and therefore places seed on the top.  This leads to poor root development and if any heaving occurs roots may be exposed to weather and herbicide applications. 

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