Ideally, winter wheat is planted while the soil and air temperatures are still warm to ensure that seedlings can emerge quickly and in plenty of time to develop a couple of tillers and a strong root system. Particularly for no-till operations, bunched-up residue is the most common threat to evenness in wheat stands. Because of this, seeding ½” to 1” in depth allows the seeds to take advantage of rainfall. Seeding Depth. The optimal planting depth for wheat seed is 1-1.5 inches with good seed-to-soil contact. Seed depth and seeding rate are also very important. Episodes: 32. Wheat has been cultivated on earth for more than ten thousand years, and grows in a diverse range of climates and soils, yet every crop begins with putting seeds in the ground. For soils testing medium for potassium (75 to 100 ppm), approximately 100 pounds per acre of potash may be sufficient. For example, if the seed bag specifies that there are 14,000 seeds per pound and the target seeding rate is 1.8 million seeds per acre, 129 pounds of seed would be needed per acre. Effect of soil temperature, soil water potential, and seeding depth on emergence of winter wheat. In this case, seed should be planted as deep as possible to reach moist soil. For detailed information regarding winter wheat variety performance please visit for results of the 2012 WI Winter Wheat Performance Test. Guidelines on optimal stand, pounds of seeds per acre and planting depth. While the Hessian fly no longer poses a significant threat to wheat in Michigan, the Hessian fly-free-date is still a useful reference relative to wheat and disease development. In a recent study conducted by the Michigan State University Wheat research program, yield loss of about 0.6 bushels per day occurs when planting after Oct. 1. Winter Wheat Establishment: It’s All in the Details . Seeding depth — Farmers who can’t see seeds on top of the ground have seeded too deep. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status. Dennis Pennington, Martin Nagelkirk, Ricardo Costa and Maninder Singh, Michigan State University Extension - In this study, a planting depth of 1-1½ inches had the best overall wheat performance (faster emergence, excellent stands, high head counts, and high Shallow seeding can result in plants being more prone to winterkill and heaving. Winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) seeded on conventional fallow is considered to have a high risk of winterkill in the Brown soil zone of the Canadian Prairies, yet many producers in this area continue to use this approach.Although this system is subject to frequent winterkill, the alternative (seeding into standing stubble) is itself subject to frequent economic loss due to drought stress. 1 Target seeding rate/43,560 X 0 .625 = seeds per ft of row (7.5” spacing). Guidance on survivability. The later we plant wheat, the less GDDs we get and the less advanced your wheat will be before winter. To contact an expert in your area, visit, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). Drilled Seeding Depth: ¾-1½ inches Drilled Seeding Rate: 55-100* lb./A PLS Broadcast Seeding Rate: 69-125* lb./A PLS Aerial Seeding Rate: 83-150* lb./A PLS Min. Winter wheat seeding rate and depth. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit To attain top yields, timely planting coupled with appropriate seeding practices can be critical for ensuring an even and uniform stand. 6 Water your newly planted seeds. Therefore, you should target 1.25-1.5 inches to ensure you are seeding your wheat deep enough. The exception may be where a coarse soil is very dry. The Williams brothers talked shop about what makes the Big Bud unique, what it does on their farm and what their no-till model looks like. An exception, however, is where the soil is exceptionally dry. Winter wheat likes to be seeded shallow, so use the same setting as you would for canola. Seeding in narrower rows or increasing seeding rate may have an advantage in dry weather but be sure not to cut corners in a dry fall planting to be sure the wheat is off to the best start before winter. Shallow seeding can result in plants being more prone to winterkill and heaving. To attain top yields, the goal of the planting operation needs to be an even and uniform stand of seedlings. Usually, a planting depth of approximately 1 inch will be deep enough to reach adequate soil moisture, provide for well-anchored plants and offer some protection against winter injury. To facilitate rapid emergence, seed winter wheat at a 1- to 1.5-inch soil depth. Option 1: “Dust in” the wheat. Table 2 identifies the pounds of seed needed based on the number of seeds per pound and your population target. Seeding Depth. The 4-H Name and Emblem have special protections from Congress, protected by code 18 USC 707. Heaving occurs during periods that soil freezes and thaws. The minimum soil moisture required for germination is quite low and increasing seeding depth to reach moisture may result only in delayed emergence and reduced winter survival. Much of wheat’s yield potential is determined at planting. Improving wheat yields depends on achieving uniform wheat stands this fall. If planting continues into the second half of October, the seeding rate should be increased to at least 1.8 million seeds per acre. Attaining a consistent depth and thus even emergence is often more critical for achieving high yields than fine-tuning actual seeding depth. Growers may do well to plant a fraction of their acreage within a few days of the fly-free date. Attaining a consistent seed depth is important in order to increase the probability of even emergence. Winter seeding date and depth. However, because of this season’s drought, growers may be able to forego nitrogen when planting relatively early following a high nitrogen crop such as corn silage, as there may be plenty of residual nitrogen in the soil (see MSU Extension News article Planting wheat following drought-stricken corn). Standing stubble helps to trap snow that insulates crown tissue from cold winter temperatures. If a grower expects to have the crop insured, then the answer is straightforward because Oct. 25 is the last planting date for crop insurance eligibility. Attaining a consistent depth, and thus even emergence, is often more critical than fine-tuning actual seeding depth. Joanna Follings September 10, 2018 4856 Comments Off on Winter Wheat Establishment: It’s All in the Details. Seed depth and seeding rate are also very important. Planting date: The optimal window for dual-purpose wheat for most of Oklahoma is between September 10-20 (approximately day 260 in Figure 1). Generally speaking, no-till has won favor in recent years. Planting depth is critical for tiller development and winter survival. The recommendation is to plant between 1.2 and 2.2 million seeds per acre. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Seeding depth. Usually, a planting depth of 1 to 1.5 inches is enough in heavy soil. Seeding rates on the lower end of the range should be used when planting within a week of the fly-free-date to avoid overly thick stands that can promote disease development and increase the likelihood of lodging the following season. Effects of Soil Temperature, Soil Moisture Content and Seeding Depth on Germination and Emergence of Winter Wheat February 1986 Conference: Soils and Crops Workshop, University of Saskatchewan In general, soils having medium test levels of phosphorus (25 to 40 ppm) require approximately 50 pounds per acre of phosphate. Plant seed between 1 and 1.5 inches deep and make sure planting depth is uniform across the field. Increasing the depth of seeding from 19 to 76 mm increased median emergence time by 4.4 d for the optimum seeding date and 9.6 d if seeding was delayed 3 wk. Producers can choose to “dust in” the wheat at the normal seeding depth and normal planting date, and hope for rain (Figure 2). Seeding in narrower rows or increasing seeding rate might be advantageous in dryer weather but make sure not to cut corners to ensure sure the wheat is off to the best start before winter. As the planting season goes on, the seeding rates should become progressively higher. Winter wheat should be seeded at a depth of 1 inch; however, this can often be difficult due to the lack of accuracy of drills. Usually, a planting depth of 1 to 1.5 inches is enough in heavy soil. Temperature data. Winter Wheat Must be Seeded on Time Fertilizer Requirements For Winter Wheat. Snow insulates, protecting the crown of winter wheat from the potentially lethal temperatures common to Minnesota winters. Seeding rates on the lower end of the range should be reserved for fields being planted within a couple weeks of the fly-free-date. Higher rates at this time are discouraged as overly thick stands may encourage lodging, as was experienced by some growers during the 2010-2011 season. When to plant winter wheat in Minnesota. Once a couple weeks have passed beyond the fly-free-date, yield potential tends to decline at least one bushel for each additional day of delay. Check out the MSU Agricultural Industries Certificate Program! MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. This information is for educational purposes only. 2 An estimated emergence rate is given in brackets as percent. Needs to be timely; Seed winter wheat when the danger of APHID and HESSIAN FLY infestation is past; Don't plant winter wheat too late Want the plants to establish at least 3 to 4 good leaves and a good root system before freeze-up; Spring wheat planting date - plant early, but don't work the soil when wet Wheat seeded too deep means fewer plants emerge and those that do are slower to grow and produce fewer tillers. General. If seeding rate for Winter Wheat is determined by lbs/acre, the number of seeds per acre could vary by as much as 13 times! Rule of thumb: Optimum sowing depths for different plant species vary according to soil type, rainfall and soil conditions at sowing.However as a rule of thumb, the seeding depth should be about five times the size of the seed. Use proper seeding rates. Heaving occurs during periods where soil freezes and thaws. Winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) can be produced on the northern edge of the North American Great Plains provided it is protected from winterkill by an insulating blanket of snow. The influence of seeding depth and date on winter wheat growth and development were also investigated in a hand‐planted trial on conventional summerfallow. Generally, a seeding rate of 900,000 to 1.2 million viable seed per acre is adequate. METHODS:METHODS: The experiment was established at the UKREC at Princeton in the fall of 2000. In this case, the seed should be placed as deep as necessary to find moisture. If determined by the number of seeds per acre, it can vary by 4.2 times. Direct seeding into standing stubble is important for winter wheat production. Seed depth and seeding rate are also very important. Selection of late-maturity soybean varieties (e.g., 3.0 versus 2.0 MG) before May 15 planting can lead to 5-8 bushels per acre increase in soybean yield, while still reaching maturity by late-September. To contact an expert in your area, visit, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).