Planting your winter wheat at the right time is crucial to its success. It’s important to have the right amount of growth before the frost/snow hits in the fall, so you need to ensure the seed is in the ground early enough. But it’s also important not to seed too early, as the plant could have too much growth before winter hits, as well.
The ideal stage for winter wheat before frost or snow cover hits is the three-leaf stage, which means it will have a well-developed crown. If the plant hasn’t developed a crown yet, it may not be able to regrow in the spring, and if the plant has grown too many leaves, it is at risk of winter injury or snow mould.
Different areas of Western Canada have different weather patterns and lengths of season, so it is important to select the right seeding window for your area.
Another factor in selecting your optimal seeding date is crop insurance cut-offs, which also vary by area. Be sure to check with your insurance provider abut your winter wheat seeding window cut-offs before seeding.
Refer to the image below to find the right seeding window for your area. (This graphic does not include information from each area on insurance cut-offs.)