Best results are obtained when winter wheat is direct seeded into standing stubble. Harvest operations should be conducted to leave the tallest stubble possible. Straw and chaff should be spread in a wide swath to avoid seeder plugging, emergence problems, and nutrient immobilization. Harrowing prior to seeding is not recommended as it breaks down stubble. Experienced growers also avoid excessive traffic on the field when harvesting to limit compaction and damaging stubble in high traffic areas, such as field edges and approaches.
The snow trapping potential index (STP) can be used to identify if sufficient stubble exists to trap snow. An ideal STP prior to seeding is 40 or greater, to result in a post-seeding STP of 20 or greater.
STP = [stubble height (cm) x standing stems per m2] ÷ 100