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Around the County

Frequent information updates for agricultural audiences

Fly Free Dates for Wheat Seeding

Posted by John Fulton -

It is important to try and plant wheat on or after the fly free date, not only because of the Hessian fly, but also to reduce pressure from diseases and other insects. Lush growth in the fall favors diseases such as Septoria leaf spot. Barley yellow dwarf virus and wheat streak mosaic virus are carried by an aphid and a mite respectively. Proper seeding time usually provides a frost to control these pests.

The fly free seeding dates for Logan County range from September 29 on the northern border of the county to October 3 on the southern border. Figure Lincoln at October 1, and you can figure out your date based on the distance from north to south.

There are usually questions about later seeding due to weather being too wet or dry, or getting the field harvested and prepared. In general, yields decline very little for the first 10 days after the fly free date. It is common to drop a bushel or so per day from the 10 to 20 day period after the fly free date. From 20 to 30 days late drops about 2 bushel a day. After a month late, you can only expect about 60 percent of a crop if the wheat survives the winter.

Seeding should provide 30 to 35 seeds per square foot. As in soybeans, the seed size in wheat affects the pounds per acre that should be dropped. Very large seed (11,000 seeds per pound) would require about 127 pounds per acre fo get 32 seeds per square foot. Very small seed (17,000 seeds per pound) would require 82 pounds to get the same 32 plants.

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