Wheat School: Downforce delivers uniformity

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

You may recall from previous Wheat School episodes, the research trial using different seeder technologies looking at the effects on a wheat crop throughout the growing season.

In this Wheat School episode, we’re joined for another Follings’ research farm report with Joanna Follings, cereals specialist with OMAFRA, and Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson, RealAgriculture’s resident agronomist. The first thing that the duo notice? Uniformity differences.

In the plot with seeder downforce technology, uniformity of the crop is visibly noticeable, which is important for T3 fungicide timing. “We want all of these wheat heads at the exact same stage, to get the optimal timing, when we put that T3 fungicide on,” says Follings. (Story continues below video.)

In the plots seeded on 10-inch row spacing, canopy closure didn’t happen as fast as with the 7.5-inch rows. Follings says that a lot of the sunlight went straight to the ground, and the canopy wasn’t capturing that solar energy, and in theory that energy is lost towards yield. She suspects that yield will be lower, even though the canopy has closed, but only time will tell.

Another piece of the puzzle, is the nutrient treatments in the plots: no phosphorus added, MAP, and MESZ treatments. So far, the pair can’t see any physiological differences due to fertilizer, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a yield difference.


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