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Is There Still Time to Plant Wheat?


In last week’s USDA Crop Progress report, Indiana wheat was 75% planted, behind the 5-year average pace of 84%. As we get deeper into November, is there still time to plant wheat?

“Yes, asterisk, asterisk,” says East Central Indiana Pioneer Agronomist Eric Miller. “I think that if you could cash flow corn and those acres could go to corn, maybe that’s a better avenue as far as just general production. Now, the follow up is, I’m looking at very high price commodity wheat, with corn inputs rising I’m really having to put pen to paper to figure out how that cash flows, I’d really like to plant wheat. I think that we can still do it.”

Miller says if you do decide to plant wheat, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll need to push the seeding population to 2 million seeds per acre, if not higher.

“Number 2, I would keep my planting depth at an inch or better just to help with the overwintering dormancy and avoid freeze heaving. The shallower you go, the more opportunities you have for heaving. Thirdly, let’s put a little bit of fertilizer out there here in this fall, phosphorus and nitrogen specifically, to give that seedling wheat the best chance to get established, germinated, and emerged as quick as we can.”

In last week’s Crop Progress report, 53% of Indiana wheat had emerged, behind the 5-year average pace of 62%.