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Hey guys,

I'm new to these forums, situated in Eastern Quebec.

I'm looking for inputs on what to try in wheat to get the yield up. Loam soils, pH are good at 6,5-7,0, overall fertility is pretty good too. I'm running at 48 bushels per acre on average.

What have you tried to boost your yields? Special fertilisation programs? Fungicides? Liquide fertilzer? Increased seed rates?

Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. Just a young grower who want to get better!

Jerome
 

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Best advice I feel I can give is timing, timing and timing......early weed control, using residuals where u can, fungicides timely, building ur soil biology thru min till or zero till if you can.....crop rotation with pulses.....all helping build ur overall natural nutrient supplying power of your soils, carry out a maintenance not mining fertility program, ur priority is quality seed, strong fertility based on or starting with ur soil moisture levels, followed by your regions annual rainfall projection.....get involved or follow local research farms, not 100 or 500 miles away research or recommendations.....direct seeding with on row seed row packing, giving your seed a competitive advantage over weed for nutrients, moisture and sunlight.....
 

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1. weed control- timing and accuracy.
2. seed quality- not just the variety, but get your drill tuned so it's consistent.
3. try to find research in seeding rates- we used to seed 1.5 bu, but now often have gone up to 2.25 bu/ac to get more main stems with plump seed
4. fertility- soil test, know what's available, and where you may have a weak link
5. fungicide- they help prolong the life of your stand by keeping it healthy longer, which translates into more potential bushels if there's moisture and nutrition. Have dabbled with 3 fungicide treatments in our wheat. Not sure if the flag actually gives a significant ROI. One of my favorite is to go full rate Tilt at herbicide, then assess disease at flag. The last few years we've been rewarded and have largely skipped the flag treatment and gone after fuzz at flowering. Low fuzz = $$

What's your existing program and do the varieties have yield potential?
 

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My experience has told me:
1 seed early as possible
2 narrow row spacing
3 keep fields clean
4 fungicide especially at heading
5 variety selection

On a loam soil you may want to split app n or use a stabilizer I'm not too sure as I'm unfamiliar with that soil type. Depending on how wet it gets there tile would probably be one thing that will increase your yield every year on every crop.
 

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Jerome
When you mention wheat , are you talking winter or spring wheat ?
Also Red , white , hard or soft ?
At your 48 BPA avg , how does that compare to the average in your area ?
What are you presently doing for rotation , seeding rates , fertility and timing , fungicides etc ?
What part of Eastern Quebec are you in ?
 

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It is very hard for someone from the prairies to give good advice to someone from Quebec because climate/varieties/soil/machinery will likely vary quite a bit by region. Previous advice is all good but may be more/less important in your situation than ours.:confused:

What I would advise is that you identify top producers in your area and watch/ask what they are doing. Next do field-scale trials on your own farm with your own equipment to identify what works best for you. It won't happen overnight but over time by incremental amounts production can and will go up.:) Maybe someone from Eastern Quebec can be more specific here.

The fact that you expressed the desire to get better and understand that you don't know it all is a great start.;)
 

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I don’t know what your climate, rainfall, soil conditions out there are. This kind of determines some of your outcome. I’ll share what my overall practice is if it helps any. I farm in the interior of B.C. and our climate gives us sometimes six months of frost free days. I farm on a minimum till program. Seed with a older 6in, spacing press drill.
I start out with soil testing, and a couple samples to different labs as they are not all accurate. Your soil nutrients are really important, build them up any way feasibly possible.
My spring operation consists of incorporating with a tandem disk, liquid nitrogen with the other required tank mix ingredients such as potash, sulfur, etc.
Seeding for HRS wheat at a rate of 2.2 to 2.5 bus. per acre depending on germination and soil conditions always adding the necessary fungicides. Phosphorous is side banded with seed with the required micro-nutrients, mine requiring boron, zink, magnesium.
At two leaf emergence a tissue sample is sent for analyses.
Next step is herbicide depending on weeds. A small amount of liquid n is added to the herbicide if compatible, I use it as a carrier.
After weed control is complete and depending on tissue sample results a top dress of liquid N mixed with any other requirements is streamed on at a 4 to five leaf stage. In some cases if the nitrogen requirements are higher a second stream application is done at a five to six leaf stage.
This is what I do but am always looking for better methods.
 

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The fact that you expressed the desire to get better and understand that you don't know it all is a great start.;)[/QUOTE]

GOLDEN ADVICE ON ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE!
 

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I would search out Odette Menard and see what she might suggest for your soil health as a whole. I saw her speak in January and was very impressed. And she will be far more qualified to speak to your situation than me our here in the desert-like west! But she will definitely encourage you to reduce or eliminate tillage and add a diverse crop rotation that may include cover crops.


Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC)

What moves beneath your field?
 

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Hey Yimmit where abouts are you there? We drive out to that area once or twice a year from se sask. Know the Bells that have a pretty nice sized chicken business in the valley. Fantastic place to grow grain. I think wheat goes 2 or 300 bushels/acre doesnt it? The key my friends is livestock manure and lots of it. We have 100 head per 5000 acres. They have 5000 head per 100 acres.
 

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Hey Yimmit where abouts are you there? We drive out to that area once or twice a year from se sask. Know the Bells that have a pretty nice sized chicken business in the valley. Fantastic place to grow grain. I think wheat goes 2 or 300 bushels/acre doesnt it? The key my friends is livestock manure and lots of it. We have 100 head per 5000 acres. They have 5000 head per 100 acres.
I live 4 km. from the Bells. Don't know them personally but very familiar with their operation. I haven't got 200 bus. per acre wheat yet, but close. Something to shoot for. Yes, there is alot of manure in the area and mostly free for the taking, only cost is spreading.
 

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My experience has told me:
1 seed early as possible
2 narrow row spacing
3 keep fields clean
4 fungicide especially at heading
5 variety selection
I would agree with your list. What row spacing are you using? We've seen weed pressure increase as we moved from 9" -> 10" -> 12.6" and am planning to go back narrower. Thinking 7.5" to start, but likely going to try to adapt equipment down to 5" or so.

Andrew
 

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One drill is 7.5" and other is 12" with 5" paired row. The 12" with 5" paired row has taken our wheat yields to a new level. Only one year with the 7.5" so not enough experience with it yet. It's mostly for canola. I also think fertilizer placement and nh3 using the max quip system has a lot to do with our wheat success as of late. The paired row puts fertilizer down the middle a bit deeper than the seed. It is not a good canola drill.
 

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One drill is 7.5" and other is 12" with 5" paired row. The 12" with 5" paired row has taken our wheat yields to a new level. Only one year with the 7.5" so not enough experience with it yet. It's mostly for canola. I also think fertilizer placement and nh3 using the max quip system has a lot to do with our wheat success as of late. The paired row puts fertilizer down the middle a bit deeper than the seed. It is not a good canola drill.
Which paired row opener are you using? We are using Dutch Universals 3.5" paired row. 3/4" vertical fert seperation to PKS blend. (NH3 in the fall.) 5.5" pneumatic packers. 12.6" spacing. Definitely not 100% seperation though. There are maybe 10-15% of the seeds coming up in the center of the 2 "rows".

Andrew
 

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We are using the Dutch. I can't remember the name but it's the one with more separation made for putting down the n as well. Stealth maybe? It a big complicated opener. Terrible for canola.
 

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I believe increased weed pressure comes from more disturbance....wider rows from 7 to 9 to 10 to 12" at IHARF had opposite effect in fewer weeds with wider rows in zero till....maybe with fall tillage or pre seed tillage wider rows would have increased weeds.....seeding between stubble rows is gods country.....less weeds, less soil /crop evaporation/transpiration.....14" rows brought record results for us in '13....but last five years a wet fall perhaps deserves fall/pre tillage.....
 

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I believe increased weed pressure comes from more disturbance....wider rows from 7 to 9 to 10 to 12" at IHARF had opposite effect in fewer weeds with wider rows in zero till....maybe with fall tillage or pre seed tillage wider rows would have increased weeds.....seeding between stubble rows is gods country.....less weeds, less soil /crop evaporation/transpiration.....14" rows brought record results for us in '13....but last five years a wet fall perhaps deserves fall/pre tillage.....
That is different than here. There may be more weed pressure from higher disturbance early on but once we spray the rows close so fast no more sunlight to get to the ground. We never have weeds between the rows at harvest anymore. Used to every field on 12". I think everyone had record crops this year regardless of seeder. We haven't averaged less than 50 on hrs in five years now.
 

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This is turning into a great thread. Some pretty good advise being shared. Because you didn't mention it, I assume you're not tiled? That's a big limiting factor in high water table areas of eastern Quebec we have the same issues here.
Early planting is excessively important, wheat is very photosynthetic and needs all the sunlight it can get around heading time, so heading should be around mid June. you don't have the long days our western neighborhoods have. Also wheat like 20*c days and 10*c nights so the earlier the better. When your buddies are making maple syrup you should be frost seeding.
Push the seeding rate up 1.5 million seeds per acre seams like the magic number. Weed control is key. A good starter with lots of Phosphorus wheat loves it. Lay the nitrogen to her! You'll be real hard pressed to lodge spring wheat so let her have it. Split application of 75 to 80 each. (dl'azote C'est pas de l'onguent mets-en mon Jerome!!)
If you can get your hands on sheep manure that is like pure gold. Maybe trade straw for manure, you'll get your straw back and the organic matter gains you get from manure can't really be replaced by commercial fertilizer. Wheat reacts to sheep manure like a fat broad in a McDonald's with a limitless credit card.
If you're not doing minimum tillage you should look into it the benefits are impressive and it will get you seeding earlier in the spring. Use agronomic principles and don't listen to all the old guys and their old fashion ways, although you replace experience. If you don't push for new and improved ways of doing things all the time you better used to 48 bushel average...
 

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Interesting....we have same combines....my dockage well below ave......no weeds between my rows....i do use residual prepare for cereal burn off and barricade broadleaf so above ave $$$ spent.....also using trifluralins for canola.....and well soybeans simply have zero weeds too....rr2's.....I think wide rows need more diligence and perhaps a bit more intensity, mainly I just believe in early weed control and it's relevance to high yields....I will grab the IHARF data where couple phd fellas in lab coats on their hands and knees recorded such weed stand reduction with less soil disturbance in wide rows and zero till....
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you for all the replies. You pointed out a lot of interesting things to work on and I thank you all for that.

Here is a couple answers to your questions.

For rotation, I'm usually working with Cereal X3 and Canola. Mainly oat and wheat for cereals. I'm trying to incoporate Soybean in the mix but I'm a bit tight in maturity. I've tried flax but it's though to find buyers around here for it.

For my program, it is still very basic. This is why I wanted to have your experiences to find out what is worth trying and what is not. I'm seeding at a 2 bu/ac seed rate. Working with certified seeds, and picking up the best performing varieties in the area. The seeder is 6 inch between rows. I'm bringing a starter fertilizer along with the seeds, and bringing the rest of the N in one application at the 3-5 leaf stage. I'm working with Dupont's Refine M or Bayer's Infinity as herbicide which seems the best in my area. I've tried fungicide in a test plot last year and I ended up gaining around 7 bu/ac advantage.

Average yield in the area is 40-45 bu/ac. Some farmers growing more intensively reports average yields of 50-55 bu/ac.

I know our growing condition are probably not the same, but at least you give me some things to work on.

We are growing mainly hard, red wheat. And I'm situated at the very east of the province, near Rimouski. We got clay and loamy soils a lot, as long as some more sandy soils. Soils are difficult to warm up on spring and Direct seeding is not always a success story aroung here. I will have to find a way to get in my field earlier!
 
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