When To Plant Winter Wheat In Texas?

Winter Wheat Management Calendar – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Variety selection, soil testing, seed preparation and treatment, pre-plant weed control, and when to plant are all important decisions for winter wheat producers in the Rolling Plains and High Plains of Texas. In-season field scouting (which takes time to do properly) also plays a role.

How to use this calendar 

The calendar timings in this guide are approximate and reflect typical optimum timing for numerous wheat management parameters. Delays in certain management practices, such as seeding late by several weeks or more, cattle removal late if going to grain, or fungicide spraying late, can reduce wheat forage and grain potential.

Variety selection 

Choose a wheat variety that will perform well over several years and in a variety of environments. A growing number of wheat growers are growing wheat for dual purpose or grazing only.

Seed preparation 

Certified seed is commonly tested for germination, inspected for purity, and monitored for contamination, but the cost of seed cleaning, treatment, and germination testing can equal or exceed that of certified seeds in the Rolling Plains and High Plains.

Soil sampling and testing 

In the Rolling Plains and High Plains, soil sampling and testing can help you avoid over- or under-applying important nutrients. Nitrogen is the second most yield-limiting factor after soil moisture, so sampling for N should be done to a depth of 24 inches.


Planting for forage production and dual-purpose wheat takes place six weeks earlier, and seeding depth must be carefully adjusted, especially for small seeded varieties, in order for wheat to survive the winter.

Replanting decision 

Scouting fields for seedling emergence and stand uniformity is essential for successful forage and grain production. For more information on replanting decisions, visit the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

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Weed control 

Chemical control is used four times: preplant, preemergence, post-harvest, and postharvest. Weeds are opportunistic and can spread exponentially once they invade a field. Maintaining dense stands through cultural practices will help you reduce your reliance on chemical control.

Fertility management 

Topdressing should be applied during or just before jointing (Feekes 5.0). Wheat requires about 1.25 pounds of nitrogen and 0.45 to 0.5 pounds of phosphorus per bushel of grain produced. Applied nitrogen can be lost through volatilization if left on the soil surface.

Pest control 

Stripe rust has become more common in Texas in recent years, and resistant wheat varieties can help reduce yield loss from the disease, especially early in the season when disease pressure is high. Leaf rust is another common disease that affects Texas wheat, and it can also be treated with timely fungicide applications.

Freeze injury 

Winter wheat vegetative stages (Feekes 2u20134) are the most resistant to cold temperatures, so scouting frequently when temperatures drop below seasonal norms can help you estimate potential damage. Symptoms can take up to a week or more to appear, so be patient when scouting.

Preharvest sprouting 

When ripened wheat (Feekes 11.4) is exposed to adequate moisture and temperature for an extended period of time, preharvest sprouting can occur; such seeds should not be used for the following year’s planting because they are susceptible to disease and insect pressure while in storage.

What is the best time to plant winter wheat?

Winter wheat is seeded in a shallow seedbed in late August or early September to allow the plant access to enough water to germinate quickly and grow for four to five weeks.

How late can I plant winter wheat?

Growers must pay close attention to the temperature and weather forecast to determine when it is too late to plant winter wheat.

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Can you plant winter wheat too early?

Wheat planted before the recommended planting dates may not provide optimal yields, especially in areas where soil moisture is limited, and planting wheat too early can lead to increased disease and insect problems, according to research conducted in Nebraska.

Can you plant winter wheat in January?

Wheat planted on any date from October 1 to January 1 yielded 50%-100% of full yields, and wheat planted on any date from March 1 to March 1 yielded grain yields each year.

Does winter wheat come back every year?

Winter wheat is typically planted in the Northern Hemisphere from September to November and harvested in the summer or early autumn the following year; however, facultative varieties can be grown as either winter or spring wheat depending on sowing time.

What month do you plant wheat?

Spring wheat is planted as soon as possible in the spring and harvested in the late summer; dormant seeding occurs in late November or early December, when the ground is cold enough to prevent germination until spring.

Will winter wheat reseed itself?

Alternatively, it will eventually seed itself out, though in my experience with food plots, birds and turkeys will eat 99.367% of the seed before it reaches the ground.

Do Whitetails like winter wheat?

Winter wheat is an excellent cool-season forage for white-tailed deer because it contains more than 20% crude protein and contains less than 25% acid detergent fiber, making it highly digestible.

How deep do you plant winter wheat?

Seed winter wheat at a 1- to 1.5-inch soil depth to facilitate rapid emergence; seeding deeper than an inch deep puts the crowns at risk of winter kill, while seeding shallower than an inch deep delays emergence.

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Is it illegal to grow wheat at home?

Commercial wheat operations, which rely heavily on commercial pesticides and fertilizers for production, are often very traumatic to otherwise fertile land, making it illegal to grow wheat at home.

How long does it take for wheat to grow?

It’s planted in the fall, usually between October and December, and grows over the winter to be harvested in the spring or early summer; it takes about seven to eight months to mature, and it makes a lovely golden contrast in spring gardens.

Can I plant winter wheat in spring?

Winter wheat can be planted in the spring as a weed-suppressing companion crop or early forage, but you lose the benefit of fall nutrient scavenging. Reasons for spring planting include winter kill or spotty overwintering, or simply because you didn’t have time to fall-seed it.

How long does it take winter wheat to sprout?

Invert the jar over a bowl at an angle to allow the wheat berries to drain while still allowing air to circulate. Rinse and drain again after 8-12 hours of draining. Repeat rinsing and draining 2-3 times daily. Tiny sprouts should appear in 2-3 days.

Is winter wheat an annual or perennial?

Plant breeders are currently developing perennial wheat, whereas the commonly grown winter wheat is an annual crop.

Does wheat grow back every year?

Perennial wheat is generally a weak perennial, as current lines of the crop only regrow two times; researchers are working on developing stronger perennials that will regrow multiple times. Perennial wheat is planted at the same time as annual wheat, and the plants grow similarly at first.

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