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WINTER WHEAT WEBINAR Why your Customers should be growing Winter Wheat Paul Thoroughgood P.Ag Ducks Unlimited Canada Show me the Money! Winter Wheat is consistently a top performing crop across the Prairies Allows improved use of capital

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why your customers should be growing winter wheat

Why your Customers should be growing Winter Wheat

Paul Thoroughgood P.Ag

Ducks Unlimited Canada

show me the money
Show me the Money!
  • Winter Wheat is consistently a top performing crop across the Prairies
  • Allows improved use of capital
  • Provides “insurance” against inclement weather during May and September
show me the money4
Show me the Money!
  • Facilitation of more timely management of spring seeded crops
  • Rotational benefits to other crops
  • Expands grain marketing window
  • Provides an ecological tool to manage herbicide resistance and pests
  • Increases financial sustainability
caring for our environment
Caring for our Environment
  • Winter cereals are the only annual crop shown to provide productive nesting habitat for waterfowl
  • Benefits to other ground nesting birds
  • Increased productivity per acre
long term adoption
Long Term Adoption
  • 2/3 of growers who have tried winter wheat with DUC have made it part of their long term rotation
  • Many of these growers have become “repeat customers” in other DUC programs
planning for success

Planning for Success

Mark Akins P.Ag CCA

Ducks Unlimited Canada

planning is key
Planning is Key
  • Planning is involved in growing all crops
  • Winter wheat requires special attention
    • stubble needed for seeding
    • planning also makes seeding at harvest simpler and less stressful

Planning=profitable winter wheat

plan for stubble
Plan for Stubble
  • Start planning for winter wheat prior to seeding your spring crop
  • Choose a crop that provides adequate snow trapping
  • Stubble must be available in Aug 15 to Sept 15 seeding window
plan for stubble12
Plan for Stubble
  • Attention to seeding date, crop types and/or variety if crops generally mature late
    • Weatherman-ager at
  • Plans may not always come through so have a “plan B” crop in mind
the weatherman ager
The Weatherman-ager

Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (4056240)

The table below was generated from Environment Canada weather station data collected from 1945 to 1998.

Crops -Argentine Canola

harvesting stubble crop
Harvesting Stubble Crop
  • Winter wheat is most successful when direct seeded into standing stubble
    • Cut stubble as high as possible
    • Spread straw and chaff evenly over the field
    • Avoid excessive traffic in field access points and headlands
  • Prepare equipment early
  • Have seed ready
  • Fill the drill
  • Plan for getting inputs to the field
  • May want to swap seeding and harvest with a trusted neighbor
seeding opportunities
Seeding Opportunities
  • Multi-tasking doesn’t always work
  • Take advantage of the weather
  • Use GPS and auto-steer to make the most of your day
  • The first year is the most challenging
seeding musts

Seeding Musts

Melissa Stanford, Agrologist

Ducks Unlimited Canada

1 seed early
1. Seed Early


  • North – August 15 - 20
  • Central – August 25 - September 5
  • South – No later than September 15
  • Don’t delay seeding to wait for moisture!
    • Waiting too long results in 5-10% yield loss per week delayed
2 seed shallow
2. Seed Shallow
  • Optimal depth = better seedling vigor and winter hardiness
  • ½”-1” deep
  • Target is 3-4 leaf stage prior to freeze up
3 seed into stubble
3. Seed Into Stubble
  • Standing stubble does it all
  • The best crops for stubble
  • How much stubble is enough?
3 seed into stubble cont d
3. Seed Into Stubble, cont’d

STP = stubble height in cm × # stems/m2


  • Adequate Snow Trapping Potential
    • Pre-seeding 40 or greater
    • Post-seeding 20 or greater
4 seed heavy
4. Seed Heavy
  • 1.5-2.5 bushels per acre
  • Target plant populations:
    • Fall: 30 plants/sq.ft.
    • Spring: 18-23 plants/sq.ft.

Consider 1000 kernel weight and germination

5 other considerations
5. Other Considerations
  • Manage straw and chaff at harvest
  • Apply phosphate with the seed and some starter nitrogen
  • Consider a pre- or post-harvest glyphosate application for a clean start
  • Be mindful of potential herbicide residue issues

Thank you for joining us today.