What impact can rotation have on winter wheat yields?

As reviewed in a previous post on Crop Chatter, the most common rotation is seeding winter wheat into canola stubble.   However, what impact can rotation have on winter wheat yields?  Once again we can use Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation’s (MASC) database to help try and answer this question.

The table below is a crop rotation chart, one planting season at a time, using data from MASC’s database.  It shows the potential yield of winter wheat on various stubbles, as compared to the average yield for winter wheat on all stubble types from 1998 to 2007.

The data illustrates a winter wheat on canola rotation where farmers see a relative yield response of 104% compared to the average yield of winter wheat in Manitoba.   Perhaps this is one reason why 51% of farmers reported a winter wheat on canola rotation.  If we look at a winter wheat on spring wheat rotation, yield potential drops to 91%.    We could speculate that the yield decrease may be due to increased disease pressure but can’t say for sure as yield-limiting factors are not collected in the harvest production reports.

Table 2:  Relative yield response (per cent of 1998 to 2007 average) of winter wheat sown on large acreage fields (<120 acre) of various previous crops (stubble) in rotation.

Previous Crop

Winter Wheat

Spring Wheat






Relative  Yield of Winter Wheat









The above table and all of the combinations are to provide farmers and agronomists with an additional tool to determine crop sequences and their yield benefits or risks.

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

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