Winter wheat

Conservation Education, Cover Crops Series - Issue 9



How is winter wheat planted?

  • Plant in mid-July to mid-October

  • Seeding rates vary

  • Plant a minimum of 50 lbs/acre depending on use

  • Planting depth should be 1"

About winter wheat

  • First used as a grain crop in the 19th century

  • Today winter wheat is used for grain, forage and cover crop

  • Planted in fall and germinates before vernalization begins

  • Underground biomass increases in spring as it greens up

  • The value of winter wheat as a primary forage is currently being researched

Benefits of winter wheat

  • Winter wheat develops large fibrous root structures, reducing erosion. Large amounts of aboveground biomass make it suitable for soil health building.

  • Winter wheat is commonly used as a nurse crop for alfalfa and clover.

  • The slow maturing nature of winter wheat optimizes crude protein levels in the boot stage and later into the growing season.


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