Late Planted Wheat Yield Potential
Posted: December 4, 2012
With the growing number of soybeans and some delayed harvesting of this crop, there is a trend for later planted wheat. A question is what is the yield potential of late planted wheat. We don’t have much real good data on the issue. Last year our wheat trials were planted in early November due to the wet fall and we ended up with 71 and 74 bushel/acre wheat yields. Some of the better wheat planted early near these trials averaged 85 to 100 bushels per acre. So we likely had some planting date effect, but with the warm winter last year, it might have been less than typical. With the cool November this year late planted small grain emergence and development seems slow, so we might not be able to repeat last year’s performance. Cornell has done some work with late planting. In one year they found no yield penalty with delaying until late October and in the second year they reported a 13 bushel or 22% yield decline with a November 4 planting date. Click here for more information on the Cornell study. In a third year of the study, they found an 11 bushel yield loss with an early November planting date.
The University of Illinois suggests that yields decline about ½ to 1 bushel a day when wheat is planted 10 to 20 days after the fly free date and 1 to 2 bushels per day 20 to 30 days late and they conclude that wheat planted a month after the fly free date usually yields (2/3 to 3/4 of normal). This isn’t too far from what we experienced in 2011. For wheat planted in mid to late November, yields will be dependent on the weather and soil conditions. With decent seedbed conditions and emergence, some of our wheat growers have produced reasonable yields with this late planted wheat, but good research data seems to be lacking. Increasing seeding rates and maintaining seed depth are keys for getting the best yields from late planted wheat.