Managing wheat tillers with proper PGR timing

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

On a recent Wheat School episode, RealAgriculture’s resident agronomist Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson spoke to New Zealand’s Eric Watson, the former world record holder for wheat yield.

This got RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney thinking about whether Canadian growers could apply any of Watson’s techniques to the spring wheat crop.

Of course, before making any changes, the moisture profile is one that definitely should be considered. The next consideration, says Johnson, is the timing of plant growth regulators (PGRs) — which for spring wheat, comes earlier than the application timing typically used for winter wheat.

Right at growth stage 30, or even late 29, is when Watson applies PGRs to manage his tillers.

“How many times in a spring wheat crop does it just drive us absolutely insane because we have all these late tillers?” Johnson asks. “[Watson] talked about low rates of growth regulators, but not really high enough rates that you’re doing a lot for lodging. But really trying to manage tillers.”

Check out the full conversation between Haney and Johnson, below, or click here for the full Wheat School episode.

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