Wheat School: Don’t count out a winter wheat crop

RealAgriculture agronomist Peter Johnson

When a field of winter gets knocked down, don’t count it out.

RealAgriculture agronomist Peter Johnson says the 2022/23 crop is a perfect example of how winter wheat can absorb multiple agronomic and environmental blows and still get off the mat to deliver a big yield punch.

On this episode of RealAgriculture Wheat School, Johnson wraps up the season with a look at how the crop persevered through a dry June and grain fill period to produce the second-highest wheat yield ever achieved in the province.

Looking forward to 2023/24, Johnson says many wheat fields planted in the province must already be considered underdogs after big fall rains left much of the fledgling crop in ponds. “Wheat doesn’t like wet feet.” he laments.

Johnson notes wheat growers are still trying to plant acres in early November, including frost seeding, but the window is closing quickly. “It’ll be a small crop and lots of it looks less than ideal. It went in in marginal conditions and had too much water.” (Story continues after the video.)

But Johnson is optimistic and he’s learning to never count out winter wheat. In spring 2022, he had to eat his words after declaring that the crop was bad news after Mother Nature served up a rough fall and a tough winter.

“When June delivered cooler temperatures and good moisture, guess what? Crappy start, record wheat. So don’t give up on the wheat crop. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s don’t give up.”

Tap here for more Wheat School videos.

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