about western winter wheat initiative

The Western Winter Wheat Initiative is a collaboration between Bayer, Richardson International, and Ducks Unlimited Canada. The purpose for this initiative is to build awareness and credibility of winter wheat as a highly productive crop option for western Canadian farmers. Winter wheat is steadily growing in popularity because farm producers are realizing its excellent yield potential, profitability, and the flexibility in time management that it provides in the busy seasons. Each year new varieties with greater yield advantage, disease tolerance, and other important traits are introduced to the market. Each year more farmers are finding that winter wheat is an excellent agronomic and time management fit into crop rotations. Winter wheat is poised to become a significant cropping choice in Western Canada, and the Western Winter Wheat Initiative is designed to ensure that there is a significant support structure in agronomy, products, and grain marketing to ensure this crop is a sustainable and profitable option for farmers for decades to come.

Why Grow Winter Wheat

Winter wheat is often overlooked by many farmers because of the extra time it can take, the risk due to winter weather, and various other factors, many of which are misconceptions. But there are many reasons why including a winter wheat crop in a rotation can be beneficial.

The Top Reasons
  1. High yield potential means increased returns per acre as compared to other cereal crops
  2. Avoids seeding problems on late, wet springs; earlier harvest than spring wheat
  3. Increased timelines and profitability of the entire rotation
  4. Increases the effectiveness efficiency of crop protection products
  5. Helps manage herbicide resistance
  6. Uses early spring moisture in dry areas more efficiently than spring cereals
  7. Provides soil cover during the fall and winter, reducing the potential for soil loss due to water and wind
  8. Spring moisture is not lost from seeding operation
  9. Yields range between 15 to 40 per cent higher than Canadian Western Red Spring wheat
  10. Matures earlier than spring cereals, spreading out harvest operations and reducing the potential for grade losses due to early frost
  11. Provides an ecological tool to help manage common annual pests in wheat such as most grassy weeds, orange blossom wheat midge, and wheat stem sawfly
  12. Less disturbance to wildlife, especially waterfowl and upland game birds

Wheat

Advantages of Growing Winter Wheat

  • Provides soil cover during the fall and winter, reducing the potential for soil loss due to water and wind
  • Spring moisture is not lost from seeding operation
  • Uses early spring moisture in dry areas more efficiently than spring cereals
  • When spring weather conditions make seeding difficult, winter wheat is already established in the field
  • Yields 15 to 40 per cent higher than Canadian Western Red Spring wheat
  • Matures earlier than spring cereals, spreading out harvest operations and reducing the potential for grade losses due to early frost
  • Provides another tool for weed management since the crop seeded and growing when weeds in a spring-cropping situation have had little crop competition (fall and early spring)

winter wheat can be used for pasture

Winter cereals can be a good option for producers with livestock pasture because they can produce it and use it in the same year. Seed is readily available for winter cereals and the crop is easy to establish. Winter wheat can be fall seeded an fall grazed, or overwintered and grazed in the spring. It can also be seeded in the spring and used in the year of seeding.

sources