Winter Wheat Cafe

Welcome to the Winter Wheat Cafe for Eastern Nebraska

Positioning your farm to manage manure, control tough weeds, and improve soil health are just some of the advantages to growing winter wheat in Eastern Nebraska. Current livestock producers and future poultry growers will find additional value of adding winter wheat to their farming operation.

Resources found on this page:

  1. Top 15 reasons to grow winter wheat & a YouTube Video on “Reason to grow wheat other than market value”
  2. New CropWatch articles on Winter Wheat for Eastern Nebraska
  3. Other Important Resources
  4. Seeding Rate Calculator
  5. Seed Drill Calibration Video
  6. 2017 Guide for No-till Winter Wheat after Soybeans for Dodge and Washington County
  7. Digital Tour of Recommended and Promising Varieties for Eastern Nebraska

Why Grow Winter Wheat in Eastern Nebraska

The winter wheat varieties planted in eastern Nebraska today can yield upward of 140 bu/ac under good management and weather. If you haven’t planted wheat in several years, consider today’s advanced genetics, many of which were developed through research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. While the potential for top yields is important, it’s not yield alone that makes winter wheat profitable. Growers can add value through increased revenue, reduced costs, improved pest management, and spreading their workload.

Adding wheat to your eastern Nebraska cropping system can offer many other benefits:

  1. Additional revenue in utilizing or selling the straw
  2. Added profit by growing more late summer and early fall forage crops
  3. Ability to more effectively incorporate cover crops
  4. Selling grain at elevators with good basis, for example wheat often is 10 cents above futures in Fremont
  5. Reducing herbicide cost for troublesome weeds like marestail, waterhemp, and Palmer amaranth, in short, disrupting weed cycles
  6. Higher soybean yields in 3-yr rotation due to reduction in pest pressure
  7. Potential reduction in yield loss from compaction by not driving on wetter soils during manure application in the fall and spring.
  8. Opportunity to contract with feedlots for manure application in the summer months
  9. Reduce soil erosion and nutrient loss during high risk months of April-May-June.
  10. Improved soil health, soil structure, and infiltration may provide long-term profitability
  11. Reduced labor cost through better distribution of workload on the farm.
  12. Possible higher cost share for conservation work during the months of July, August, September.
  13. Possible higher USDA CSP ranking score for planting winter wheat resulting in additional revenue
  14. During periods of dry years, dryland corn yield boost the following year.
  15. Demonstrated local success at obtaining high yields (100 bushel/ac)

Listen to reasons to grow wheat other than market value with Nathan Mueller and Tyler Harris:

Ready to plant wheat now? Keep reading for more information

CropWatch Articles on Winter Wheat for Eastern Nebraska

Other Important Resources

Crop Tech Cafe Winter Wheat Seeding Rate Calculator

Download (XLSX, 9KB)

Seed Drill Calibration

2017 Guide for No-till Winter Wheat after Soybeans for Dodge and Washington County

Download (PDF, Unknown)

 

Recommended and Promising Varieties for Eastern Nebraska

Recommended varieties are based yield performance over the last 3 years in UNL Variety Trials in Eastern Nebraska (location in Washington, Saunders, Lancaster, Saline, and Clay counties). Promising varieties are based on two years of yield performance. Notable varieties discussed have been tested two years or more, but not evaluated two consecutive years in a row. A great tool for head-to-head comparison of varieties across locations in eastern Nebraska over multiple years has been created by Colorado State: Head-to-Heal Comparison Tool. Browse the pictures below and read through the strengths and weakness to consider when choosing a variety(ies):

Recommended (Based on 3-year yield performance in 2015, 2016, and 2017)

  • SY Wolf
  • HG Ruth
  • HG Freeman
  • WB-Cedar
  • WB-Grainfield

Promising (Only tested in 2016 and 2017, could be moved to recommended catergory after 2018)

  • Zenda
  • WB4303
  • WB4721

Notable (Tested 2 or 3 years, but not consecutive years)

  • WB4458

 

sy wolf

SY Wolf (Released 2011) – Recommended

Strengths

  • Best yield record
  • High yield potential
  • Good protein at high yields
  • Moves north well, recommended in Eastern South Dakota
  • Good standability
  • Great early season fungal disease resistance (tan spot, etc.)

Weaknesses

freeman

HG Freeman (Released 2013) – Recommended

Strengths

  • Good yield record
  • Moves north well, recommended in Eastern South Dakota
  • High nitrogen efficiency

Weaknesses

  • More susceptible to stripe rust than other recommended varieties
  • Don’t place on high fertility-high yield environment due to average standability
  • Lower test weight

 

Ruth

HG Ruth (Released 2015) – Recommended

Strengths

  • Replacement for Variety – Overland
  • Great yield record
  • Moves north and west well, recommend in Eastern South Dakota
  • Taller for great straw production

Weaknesses

  • Later maturity compared to other recommended and promising varieties
  • Average standability, but good for height

WB-Cedar (Released 2010) – Recommended

Strengths

  • High yield potential
  • Earliest maturing variety
  • Powdery mildew resistance
  • Excellent standability

Weaknesses

  • Does not performs as well further west under rainfed conditions
  • More risk for later spring freeze damage due to early maturity

 

grainfield

WB Grainfield (Released 2012) – Recommended

Strengths

  • Top performing yield group over the last two years
  • Broad adaptability and yield performance. Has yielded well in other regions to the north, south, and west
  • Good overall disease resistance
  • Taller for great straw production

Weaknesses

  • Below average standability or higher lodging risk compared to other recommended and promising varieties
  • Lower protein in some years compared to other recommended or promising varieties

 

zenda

Zenda (Released 2016) – Promising

Strengths

  • Top performing yield group over the last two years
  • Replacement for Variety – Everest
  • High yield potential
  • Good standability
  • Best Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) or scab resistant variety
  • Intermediate Hessian Fly resistance

Weaknesses

  • Does not performs as well further west under rainfed conditions – only fair drought resistance

 

WB4303

WB4303 (Released 2015) – Promising

Strengths

  • Top performing yield group over the last two years
  • Very high yield potential
  • Responds to more intensive management (nitrogen, fungicide, etc.) based on other state variety trials (Kansas/Oklahoma)
  • Excellent standability or lodging resistance
  • Early maturity

Weaknesses

  • Does not performs as well further west under rainfed conditions
  • More susceptible to stripe rust than other recommended and promising varieties
  • Lower test weight

 

WB4721

WB4721 (Released 2016) – Promising

Strengths

  • Top performing yield group over the last two years
  • Excellent test weight
  • Good resistance to Stripe Rust
  • Slightly later heading or maturity – only Ruth is later

Weaknesses

 

WB4458

WB4458 (Released 2012) – Other notable variety (Tested 2013, 2014, 2017)

Strengths

  • Very high yield potential
  • Excellent standability
  • Early maturity

Weaknesses

  • Susceptible to Fusarium Head Blight or Scab
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