Wheat planting accelerates
Interest in wheat production is strong this fall and acres could grow from a year ago, according to growers who recently stepped up the pace of winter wheat planting in Illinois.
Published: Oct 18, 2012
Kyle Brase, a grower from Edwardsville (Madison County) and secretary of the Illinois Wheat Association (IWA), this week said wheat planting was about 70 percent complete in his area.
“There’s a lot more interest in wheat this year,” Brase said. “It’s competing for acres.”
Brase farms in an area where many farmers make wheat acreage decisions on a year-by-year basis, depending on the economics of wheat production, seed quality and availability, and fall planting conditions, among other factors.
This year, he estimated wheat acreage in his area could increase by as much as 25 percent.
“I think there’s a couple different things (driving renewed interest in wheat),” Brase said. “The economics of wheat have been strong and we’re coming off a year in which quality was excellent.”
Intensive management is a key to increasing the likelihood of better yields and quality in wheat, he noted.
“If it needs more nitrogen or fungicide, we do it,” Brase said. “When we do that, we end up with a lot higher quality product.”
Farmers also may be planting more wheat to take advantage of nitrogen in the soil that was unused by the drought-stressed corn crop, according to Steve Stallman, a wheat grower from Chester (Randolph County) and IWA president.
“I’m anticipating a few more acres this year,” he said.
Wheat acres in Illinois from 2002 to 2012 averaged 760,000 per year. But farmers this year harvested just 630,000 acres of wheat compared to 765,000 acres in 2011.
“Wheat planting started later than normal as a lot of soybeans, with the late-season moisture, took a second growth and had green stems, which delayed soybean harvest,” Stallman said. “But we’ve had good progress recently, although it’s been somewhat spotty (due to rain).”
“Some wheat has been planted (in Northern Illinois),” said Pete Tekampe, a FarmWeek Cropwatcher from Grayslake (Lake County). “But it is not in good shape. The ground is very hard and dry.”
Livestock producers also have renewed interest in wheat as the crop not only provides straw, but also a possible feed grain next year that will be available two to four months before corn harvest, added Brase, whose family operates a dairy.
Permalink: Click here