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Wheat growers: Have a proactive plan in 2016

April 1, 2016

As spring wheat planting season approaches and winter wheat continues to break dormancy across the country, it is important to implement a proactive integrated crop management plan to ensure optimal stand establishment, protect against early-season weeds and diseases, and maintain wheat quality and yield potential.

Syngenta offers the following tips and agronomic recommendations to help grow more profitable wheat in 2016:

  • Identify winterkill injury:With limited snow cover this season, the possibility of winterkill and poor wheat stands is a concern this spring. It’s important to identify winterkill damage and employ appropriate follow-up actions.
  • Evaluate the degree of winterkill injury: To manage the effects of winterkill, growers need to evaluate the degree of winterkill injury in their wheat and adjust next steps accordingly. Symptoms to observe include: plants with one or more dead leaves; patches of dead plants in the field; tiller development without accompanying root system growth; wilting, yellow and dying of some leaves after spring green-up.
  • Clear fields of residual weeds: It is important to establish a clean, weed-free field at least two weeks before planting wheat. If not, insects and diseases living in previous crop residue or remaining weeds can travel to newly emerging wheat and other spring crops. For optimum weed control, apply a quality burndown, pre-plant or pre-emergence herbicide, which delivers broad-spectrum control of broadleaf and grass weeds.
  • Scout early and often: Scouting early and at multiple stages of the growing season is important. Maintain consistent scouting practices throughout the season, and increase the frequency as needed during times of high pest pressure.
  • Make preventive fungicide applications: Considering the early widespread presence of rust this season, getting ahead with a fungicide application is particularly important. To help mitigate stress from diseases like stripe rust, use a preventive fungicide application.
  • Minimize crop stress, eliminate weed pests: Determining which weeds will make an appearance from year to year is difficult to predict. By monitoring their presence and making timely herbicide applications, growers can help maintain and improve their crops’ performance. Wheat growers can diversify their herbicide programs by using products containing different modes of action.

Following these steps, and being proactive can help growers get ahead of these problems and pests, ultimately helping them grow more profitable wheat.

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Photos are either the property of Syngenta or used under agreement.

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