Seed treatments play a crucial role by providing protection for winter wheat against disease and insect pressure from the moment it is planted. Growers are choosing winter wheat as it tends to yield better. While growers principally plant either winter wheat or spring wheat based on their geography’s climate and soil conditions, Blake Murnan, Product Development Manager, from CHS Agronomy, said there are many benefits to planting winter wheat over spring wheat.

“Winter wheat tends to yield better, but in order to grow winter wheat successfully, you need to have moderate winters and/or enough snow cover to protect the crown of the plant from truly freezing. In order to produce a seed head, winter wheat needs to go through a process called vernalization. Vernalization is exposure to temperatures around 40 degrees F.  During this exposure, the wheat doesn’t totally go dormant but does gradually adjust to withstand cold temperatures if those temperatures don’t get too severe. The benefit winter wheat has over spring wheat is moisture availability and that drives yield. Winter wheat can take advantage of the fall rains and the spring snow melt to help maximize yield. In addition, winter wheat also fills grain before the high heat of summer, and heat can reduce yields if the plant becomes stressed.”

Reports from this year’s crop in the Pacific Northwest and Montana show excellent yields. However, reports of freeze damage in early April coupled with late spring high temperatures and wind caused substantial yield loss in the high-plain states. Murnan explained what pathogens and insect pests growers saw this year in their winter wheat.

“Disease pressure and insect type are going to vary with any given environment. What is true for all wheat growing regions is that high yields are not attainable if the grower isn’t paying attention to disease management. Some diseases such as Pythium, Rhizoctonia, and Fusarium along with wireworm insect pressure can be managed with the use of seed treatments. Though it varies depending on region, we did see the common insect pests this year, including: Aphids, Green bugs, Grasshoppers, Hessian flies and Wireworms.”

Murnan shared this advice for growers who are thinking about planting winter wheat next year.

“Thinking isn’t the same as planning. If a grower is going to go after high wheat yields, a comprehensive plan needs to be developed before the seed goes into the ground. Part of that plan needs to include control of insects and disease pressures.”

Murnan  said using a quality seed treatment is critical to ensuring winter wheat has superior protection against disease and insects from the moment the seed is planted.

“Winter wheat treated with Lancaster FnI receives insecticide and two robust fungicides to protect against insects along with seed and soil-borne diseases, giving them the best chance to grow. For retailers who want to customize their seed treatments, CHS Agronomy offers STI Customized.”

He said STI Customized enables retailers to offer custom blended seed treatments for their customers.

“Driving for high yields needs more than the right chemistry; it also needs the right rate along with other additives such as CYGIN, a Plant Growth Regulator, that help stimulate a healthy plant to maximum yields. This ability to laser focus onto the right needs for a retailer and their customers is what sets STI Customized apart from any other product or service in the marketplace today. STI customized uses some of the most proven products along with the latest chemistries to enter the market to build a retailer an outstanding offering with exceptional value. STI Customized allows retailers to choose which products they want to use, including the slurry rates, active ingredient rates, PGRS, micronutrients, color options, and polymers. By providing options for growers and retailers, we’re able to help our customers create the most diverse and customized blended seed treatment that works for their specific needs.”

Click Here to learn more about seed treatments from CHS Agronomy.

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