Home Crop Monitoring Wheat School: Counting tillers helps determine N strategy

Wheat School: Counting tillers helps determine N strategy


The winter wheat stand has greened up, come out of winter, and the rising diploma days are accumulating, which has many fascinated about a nitrogen software.

“People are getting out, they’re looking at the number of plants per row, they’re checking for tillers, do they need to put their nitrogen on, can they wait,” says Joanna Follings, cereals specialist for Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Meals and Rural Affairs.

Follings and RealAgriculture’s resident agronomist Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson take us by staging, counting tillers, and timing that nitrogen software on this Wheat College episode.

The very first thing to do, says Johnson, is to depend the variety of crops per sq. foot — or 19.2 inches of a row — then, begin counting tillers, which will be difficult.

“If we have a late-planted wheat stand, that only has one stem with three leaves on it, it’s got zero tillers,” says Johnson. The quantity of rising diploma days will shorten the size of time that plant takes to create one other stem or tiller and that must be factored in when planning your subsequent scout. See the video beneath for extra on counting tillers:

The aim is to get 60 heads per sq. foot, however as Follings explains, having too many tillers is unsustainable, so in a area like that, a nitrogen software isn’t warranted. An early nitrogen software on huge wheat will do extra hurt than good, warns Johnson.

In fields the place there’s just one predominant stem, with one or two tillers, these are the fields that must be focused with an early shot of nitrogen, says Follings. “Fifty to sixty per cent of your total nitrogen up front — we want to promote that tillering, because this is our only time to do that. Once we get beyond growth stage 30, stem elongation, no more tillers, at that point we don’t even want them anymore.”

One other subject that Johnson mentions is bunching of seeds at planting, which creates smaller, underdeveloped crops due to an excessive amount of competitors. “Controlled spilling” throughout seeding can create a contest subject, which compounds right into a tiller subject, says the duo.


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