Get wheat off to a great start with proper fertility

To get wheat off to a great start, apply 20 to 30 pounds of actual nitrogen per acre at planting to promote fall tiller development. Review your soil test for phosphorus and potash applications. Phosphorus should be applied if soil test levels are below 50 ppm (100 pounds per acre) regardless of yield potential. The exact rate will depend on the soil test level and yield potential. Check the Tri-State guide for specific rate recommendations (

The same philosophy would be true for potash. Potash should be applied if soil test potassium levels are below 150 to 175 ppm (300 to 350 pounds per acre) regardless of yield potential. For soils with potassium levels below this amount the recommended rate would depend upon the yield potential, soil test level and the cation exchange capacity of the soil.

Soil pH should be around 6.5 for optimum production. Secondary nutrients (calcium, magnesium and sulfur) and micronutrients should not be necessary for a fall program on most Ohio soils maintained at the proper soil pH.

The key to a successful wheat crop is adequate and timely management. The above recommendations are guidelines that may be fine-tuned by you to fit your farming operation, soils, and planting conditions. They also assume that you are planting wheat in fields that are adequately drained.


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