By Jason Hartschuh Crawford County Extension and Harold Watters
There were some good reasons to grow wheat again this year. Many farmers we spoke with said 2018 produced another very good crop. Our warm spring conditions cut back on yield but quality was excellent. What else goes into making the farm more profit?
- Crop rotation: wheat adds a third crop to our rotation. Generally we get a 10% yield bump to the next crop in the rotation. And with a three crop rotation we reduce disease and insect pressure for all crops.
- “Cover crop wheat” was a new term for me this spring. This was planted after last year’s soybeans and planned to be a cover crop ahead of corn. Wheat, like oats and cereal rye will help hold onto nitrates. If we wanted we could even graze wheat, or if we get a good stand and have good prospects we can keep it to harvest as grain — this may be our perfect cover crop.