8 Ways To Make No-Till Wheat A Winner

Choosing the right varieties, herbicides and seeder are among the keys to successfully adding wheat to rotations, says Kentucky no-tiller John Young.

With grain still trading at very attractive prices, no-tillers may be able to increase their profits by adding wheat to their traditional corn-and-soybean rotation. This scenario is especially attractive in regions where soybeans can be double-cropped behind winter wheat.

But growers must step up their management game to be successful, says longtime no-tiller John Young, who farms 4,000 acres of corn, wheat and double-cropped soybeans near Herndon, Ky.

Every decision about variety selection, pest eradication and nutrient application is critical, as is timeliness with seeding, spraying, fertilization, harvesting and selling.

“When I was a kid, you put the wheat out, put a little nitrogen on it in the spring and you hoped for the best. You can’t make a profit doing that anymore,” says Young, whose father, Harry, helped pioneer no-till methods during the 1960s.

What follows below are a number of tips Young shared at the 2011 National No-Tillage Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, designed to help growers make no-till wheat a profitable part of their rotation.

1 Choose The Right Fields

No-tillers adding wheat to their rotations must first decide which fields are best for wheat production.

Young’s typical rotation is corn, followed by wheat and double-crop soybeans, but some fields he no-tills to corn that won’t go into wheat.

Wheat usually does best in well-drained soils, even if they’re a bit thin or rocky, Young says. A no-tiller’s best tool here is knowing the farm’s soil types.

“If some fields chronically flood in the winter, don’t bother planting…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all No-Till Farmer content and archives online. Learn more about the different versions and what is included.

John dobberstein2

John Dobberstein

John Dobberstein was senior editor of No-Till Farmer magazine and the e-newsletter Dryland No-TillerHe previously covered agriculture for the Tulsa World and worked for daily newspapers in Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Joseph, Mich. He graduated with a B.A. in journalism and political science from Central Michigan University.

Top Articles

Current Issue


No-Till Farmer

Get full access NOW to the most comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use online resource for no-tillage practices. Just one good idea will pay for your subscription hundreds of times over.

Subscribe Now

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings