Should I delay seeding my winter wheat until it rains?

With continuing dry conditions in many areas of the province, producers are questioning whether they should seed their winter wheat into dry soil conditions or if they should wait on rainfall and then seed into moisture.  If a producer wants to include winter wheat into their crop plans, they should seed now and wait for rain.  When the rain does come, the seed will be there ready to germinate and emerge.  

Also keep in mind AgriInsurance seeding deadlines are approaching quickly and may come before the rainfall does.  Deadlines for winter wheat are September 15th for full coverage, with an extended seeding period to September 20th at 20% reduced coverage.  For more information regarding seeding deadlines and coverage levels, contact your local MASC agent. 

However, it will be important for producers to recognize the potential risks associated with seeding into dry conditions.  If germination is delayed in the fall, or even delayed until spring, it can impact yield potential and maturity.

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, MAFRI Cereal Crops Specialist

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