Wheat Top Dressing

Jan 08, 2021

Wheat Top Dress Information

 Its quickly nearing time to top dress the 2021 wheat crop & what we have seen stands & conditions vary greatly in the Midland Marketing trade area. Current wheat prices are higher than recent years so the opportunity to maximize production would be financially rewarding. Keep in mind smaller wheat will need Nitrogen early to help influence tillering. When in doubt fertilize!! It will be there for future crops.
Winter wheat starts determining yield when the day length reaches 10 hours of sunlight in this area around January 24th. Winter wheat uses 90% of its Nitrogen at & after jointing or stem elongation which varies from year to year but is typically in April.
Things to consider when top dressing wheat. Soil test will let you know how much Nitrogen & other nutrients are available in your soil. A 6” soil sample is recommended for Nitrogen as wheat is growing slowly & deeper Nitrogen may not be available. Without a soil test a rate of 1.2 lbs. of Nitrogen per bushel of yield goal has proven to be most effective in university trials.
There are two types of Nitrogen based fertilizer available to top dress with. Dry Urea 46-0-0 & liquid UAN 32% or 28%. Either dry or liquid will work equally effective depending on your situation. If you have a lot of residue in your fields dry 46-0-0 can be more effective in contacting the soil as liquid can get tied up in the residue.
If you do not have any Nitrogen in place yet dry 46-0-0 can also be effective when running high rates per acre. If you need to run high gallons of liquid UAN using streamer nozzles will be most efficient to reduce residue tie up. If you have some of your Nitrogen in place & are split applying you may want to consider running herbicide with your top dress application for residual weed control. It has been proven year after year herbicide applications in growing wheat allow you extra time after harvest before weeds need sprayed. Midland Marketing has a full line up of wheat herbicide’s depending on your weed issues or crop rotation. Get with your local agronomy salesperson to select the products that best fit your operation. Early fungicide application’s have shown yield increase in wheat production. Tan Spot is a common disease in this area that shows up in late winter & early spring a ½ rate of fungicide at top dress controls Tan Spot & helps with general plant health at green up. Ask your local agronomy salesperson for more information.
Nitrogen will be one of the highest input expenses for your 2021 wheat crop, so it is important to protect it. Nitrogen stabilizers are available for both dry & liquid fertilizer they help protect Nitrogen loss from denitrification, leaching & volatilization. Trials have shown a positive return on investment consistently when using Nitrogen stabilizer. See your local agronomy salesperson for more information on protecting your investment.
Another way to better utilize your Nitrogen is to have a more balanced fertility program. A plant needs 1 pound of Sulfur for every 10 pounds of Nitrogen to convert Nitrate Nitrogen to Amino Acids which in turn provide proteins for the plant. Sulfur deficiency in crops causes build up of Nitrates which hasten grain production & can be toxic to livestock. Due to regulations removing Sulfur from fuel & natural gas there is less Sulfur being released into the atmosphere which is leading to Sulfur deficiency in crops. Micro essentials MESZ 12-40-0-10--1 is a good source of Sulfur when applying dry fertilizer, it has both Sulphate & elemental Sulfur plus Nitrogen Phosphate & Zinc. The Sulphate form is mobile in the soil & readily available to the crop while the elemental will help build the soil profile for the future. Thiosul 12-0-0-26 works great with liquid applications it contains sulphate Sulfur so it to is mobile in the soil & readily available to the crop.
Copper deficiency is another common problem in wheat production in this area. Years of continuous cropping has depleted some of our Micronutrients such as copper that cannot renew as fast as they are being removed. Copper helps the plant with cold tolerance which can help with winter kill it also helps with leaf twisting in wheat. Midland Marketing has Max-In products from Winfield as well as Take Off LS from Verdesian to help achieve a balanced micronutrient package to maximize yield for your 2021 wheat crop.
Whatever concerns or challenges you have on your operation the agronomy team at Midland Marketing will be there to help you be more productive & profitable in the coming year. Striving to be your 1st choice

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