NEWS for North Dakotans
Agriculture Communication, North Dakota State University
7 Morrill Hall, Fargo, ND 58105-5665
November 2, 2000
Dormant seeding of canola and wheat was of major interest to many North Dakota producers in the fall of 1999 with approximately 50,000 acres of canola and 5,000 acres of wheat planted in the late fall of 1999. Dormant seeding, the practice of seeding a crop late in the fall into cold or frozen soil with the seed lying dormant until spring, is a risky practice, but North Dakota State University trials suggest that it may have potential.
Kent McKay, area crops specialist with the NDSU Extension Service, says some of the encouraging results include significantly lower scab severity ratings and better quality in dormant seeded wheat.
NDSUís North Central Research Extension Center at Minot conducted a dormant/spring seeded small grain trial in 1999-2000. Spring wheat, durum and barley were dormant seeded on Nov.30, 1999 and compared to crops seeded in the spring on April 27 and May 19. Both dormant and spring plantings were seeded no-till into durum stubble.
The results were variable, McKay says. Of the three dormant plantings, spring wheat had the best results. The dormant seeded barley plots never did emerge. "Other researchers who have worked with dormant seeding barley have had similar results," he says. "Volunteer barley can be a troublesome weed in the spring, but try to plant it in the fall and it doesn't come up in the spring."
Dormant seeded durum suffered from poor stand establishment, but grain quality of the dormant seeded durum was better than the spring plantings.
"We are going to look at increasing seeding rates this fall and add a seed treatment to try to increase the stand in the spring," says McKay. The dormant planted durum was seeded at similar seeding rates to the spring planting (1.5 million pure live seeds per acre). "We are looking at comparing seeding rates of 2.0 and 2.5 million to 1.5 million live seeds per acre and adding an Imazalil seed treatment to suppress root rot this fall. Hopefully, this will give us an optimum stand in the spring."
The best results of the dormant plantings was with Parshall spring wheat. The seeding rate for both spring wheat plantings was 1.0 million live seeds per acre. The dormant spring wheat planting had 14 plants per square foot, about half of an optimum stand. The dormant spring wheat yielded 39 bushels per acre and had a test weight of 61.6 pounds per bushel. The scab severity rating was considerably lower than the spring plantings at 6 percent.
This compares to the April 27 planting; which had 26 plants per square foot and yielded 52 bushels per acre but only had a test weight of 58.9 pounds per bushel and a scab severity rating of 28 percent. The May 19 planting had 23 plants per square foot, yielded 43 bushels per acre and had a test weight of 59.1 pounds per bushel with an 11 percent scab severity rating.
The dormant seeded wheat started flowering June 22, compared to July 2 for the April 27 planting and July 19 for the May 19 planting.
There was a big difference in quality with the dormant spring wheat having better quality and significantly lower scab severity ratings, McKay says. The dormant spring wheat yield was considerably lower due to the thin stand. "The main observation with the dormant trial is that it was ahead of the scab. If that could happen most years, dormant seeding could become a popular practice," says McKay. "Our main objective now is to fine tune the seeding rates and look at seed treatments to arrive at a comparable stand in the spring."
Plans are to treat the spring wheat seed with Imazalil to suppress root rot and try seeding rates up to 2.0 million pure live seeds per acre compared to the standard rate of 1.0 million pure live seeds per acre for spring wheat, he says.
Source: Kent McKay, (701) 857-7682
Editor: Gary Moran, (701) 231-7865