Soil moisture in most stubble fields in the fall has been depleted, leaving a very dry seedbed for winter wheat. Under these conditions, seeding shallow (1/2 to 1 inch) allows the seed to take advantage of moisture provided by fall rains. Research has shown that as little as 1/3 inch of rain is often enough to successfully establish winter wheat that was seeded shallow. Conversely, deep seeding delays emergence and often results in a spindly plant that is more susceptible to winterkill. Research has consistently shown that shallow seeding is much more successful than deep seeding.
It is also important to ensure that the seed is well packed in soil when planted for adequate seed to soil contact. This helps to keep the much needed fall moisture for germination.