Turn Your Spring Into Winter!

Mar 15, 2009

The right spring crop can set the stage for a successful winter wheat crop.

Edmonton, AB., March 15, 2010

If you’re planning to grow winter wheat, choosing the right spring crop can pay huge dividends for your winter wheat crop this fall. And now’s the time to start planning.

As you’re making your spring cropping plans, aim to have the first fields seeded in the spring be the ones to precede winter wheat. Select early maturing varieties that produce adequate stubble for winter wheat to be direct seeded into.

One of the key building blocks to successful winter what production is establishing a healthy plant in the fall. Choose a spring crop that will have stubble available between August 20 and September 15, for timely seeding of winter wheat. This provides sufficient time for the plant to develop a strong and healthy crown prior to winter. The other key to winter wheat is winter survival. Winter survival depends on plant health as well as soil temperature. Though growers can’t change winter’s cold blast, seeding into stubble that catches adequate snow will insulate the plants and protect winter wheat during the coldest months. Canola, mustard and cereal stubble are the best choices to precede your winter wheat crop.

If you’re a first-time winter wheat grower, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) can help you with your planning decisions. “Success with your winter wheat crop is dependent on decisions you make throughout the year, not just in fall”, says Paul Thoroughgood, Regional Agrologist with DUC. “Now’s the time to decide which spring crop and variety should precede your winter wheat crop. Long time growers often have a Plan A and Plan B for providing stubble for fall seeding. Plan your spring seeding dates, so you can increase stubble availability during August 20 to September 15. Choices you make this spring can provide optimal conditions for a successful winter wheat crop.”

Another important part of planning for winter wheat is selecting a field free of winter annual weeds. Depending on where you live, winter annuals like Flixweed, Downy Brome, Japanese Brome and Narrow Leaved Hawk’s Beard can be problematic in winter wheat because they compete with the crop due to their similar life cycles. This can be overcome by either avoiding fields with winter annual problems or cleaning up the fields prior to fall seeding and paying close attention to fall and early spring weed control in the winter wheat crop.

To help you plan your next winter wheat crop, visit and click on ‘Growing Winter Wheat’ and ‘Tools’ to find the Weatherman-ager, an online planning resource that will help you plan spring seeding to produce stubble available for seeding in the fall.

Winter Cereals: Sustainability in Action is a program which showcases the important role winter wheat plays in sustainable agriculture. The program combines investment in research, working with producers and engaging additional partners to increase winter wheat acreage across the Prairies, and highlights an agricultural practice that is profitable and wildlife-friendly. The program is a partnership between Ducks Unlimited and Bayer CropScience.

For further information, please contact:

Marci Dubé
National Communications Manager
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Ph: (780) 930-1242

About Ducks Unlimited Canada
Conserving Canada’s Wetlands

We are Canada’s most trusted and respected conservation organization.

 (Ipsos Reid and NRG Surveys) Our mission is to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for waterfowl. These habitats also benefit other wildlife and people.

Additional information about Ducks Unlimited Canada is available at <> .

About Bayer CropScience

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about EUR 5.8 billion (2007), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of about 17,800 and is represented in more than 120 countries.

Further information on Bayer CropScience Canada is available at: <>

Further information on Bayer CropScience US is available at: <>