June 18, 2014
Crucial Second Wheat Management Improvements Identified in First Insight Report
Second wheat management is the topical subject of the first in a series of Agri-intelligence Insight Reports from research-lead agronomy leader, Agrii published this summer.
Bringing together information from more than 10 years of Agrii research and advisory practice, the report identifies the key factors affecting second wheat performance and provides practical guidance on how best to close the gap with first wheat yields.
“All too often second wheats are the Achilles heel of combinable crop rotations,” explained Agrii head of technology and services, Clare Bend. “The major drag they can have on farm profitability makes them a vital area for management improvement; especially so at current market prices.
“Our trials and agronomy experience across the UK shows the yield difference between actively and poorly managed second wheats can be as much as 3.5 t/ha. This makes well-focussed attention on a number of management improvements extremely worthwhile.”
Key management priorities identified in the Agrii report include:
- Selecting varieties carefully for their actual and relative second wheat performance;
- Avoid drilling too early or at too high a seed rate;
- Consolidating seedbeds well;
- Using silthiofam or fluquinconazole seed treatments;
- Prioritising early spring nitrogen;
- Achieving a P index of 2 before the first wheat;
- Promoting healthy roots at every opportunity;
- Considering a stem-base fungicide at T1;
- Managing weeds effectively throughout the rotation.
“All our work shows that making the most of second wheats is about getting the whole agronomic package right,” Clare Bend insisted. “Specific improvements often deliver relatively modest performance benefits on their own. But implemented together and in the most appropriate combination for individual farm circumstances they can make all the difference in boosting crop and, as a result, whole rotation profitability.”
The full 28-page Getting Second Wheat Crops to Perform report is available to agronomy customers through Agrii advisers. An overview report of the main management considerations for wider downloading is available on request here.