Late wheat planting a growing concern

By Harold Watters, Champaign County Extension

We seem to be having another year with problems in getting soybeans harvested and then in getting our wheat planted. It wasn’t that long ago we had a similar delay and hopefully you still remember the 2009 and 2006 growing season. We know from recent experience and from OSU research that the optimum time to plant wheat is from fly free date until 14 days after. This year we have passed October 15th with much less of our wheat planted than planned. From the five-year average we expect to have 75% of our wheat planted by mid-October. My perspective in western Ohio is that either we have far less than half of our wheat acres planted or we changed plans to have fewer wheat acres.

From research that Jim Beuerlein, our retired OSU Extension soybean and small grains specialist, and others have done we can predict that if we plant our winter wheat as late as November 1st then we likely will only reach about 75% of our normal yield.

Days after fly-safe date

% Yield










If we truly hit only expect 75% of our normal wheat yields, then I think you as a producer need to keep this in perspective when you apply nitrogen next spring or make the decision to pull the plug and grow corn instead. For more from Watters, see CORN to Go in the November Issue of Ohio’s Country Journal.

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