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gil.gullickson
Veteran Contributor

Wheat in row-crop rotation?

All,

 

I was up the last month in North Dakota/South Dakota last month and was struck by a lot of the diversity in the crop rotations there. Have any of you in typical corn-soybean rotations ever thought about including a small grain like wheat? 

 

Thanks,

Gil Gullickson

Crops Technology Editor

Successful Farming 

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5 Replies
Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Re: Wheat in row-crop rotation?

There's not much market for wheat in Iowa.  Much of what is grown around here is more for the straw than the grain.  It doesn't make enough money to compete with corn or soybeans, sadly.  Most of us would love a third rotation crop but wheat doesn't seem to be it for most of us.

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Shaggy98
Senior Advisor

Re: Wheat in row-crop rotation?

Welcome to the wonderful world of High Plains dryland farming.  We'd love to be able to produce the more profitable commodities but unfortunately our climate just wont allow it but maybe 1 or 2 years in a 10 year period, and trying to predict those years is like rolling the dice at a casino.

 

However, I've only been back in the cattle business for 2 years now and it hasn't taken me long to rerealize what the bread and butter products of this area are.

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hardnox
Advisor

Re: Wheat in row-crop rotation?

SRWW is a traditional crop in the eastern corn belt.

 

It generally doesn't quite compete with corn/soy on better soils but has some side benefits- cash flow, spreads risk, spreads out equipment labor requirements. And there are agronomic benefits- if you don't doublecrop- breaking SCN cycles, don't need CRW treatment for corn following, improved tilth, reduced erosion. C/S/W doesn't quite work on an economic basis but C/S/C/S/W comes pretty darn close.

 

The probelm now is the size of farms and huge quality problems that have hit in a few years in the past 20 with heavy rains at harvest. While some will risk that exposure on 100 acres, most won't on 1000.

 

Wheat is still very competitive in S IN, IL and points south but that's because of doublecropping. N. of Indianapolis that's not a very certain practice.

 

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hardnox
Advisor

Re: Wheat in row-crop rotation?

It would be great to have a fall seeded small grain for rotations that was a bit more competitive. Biotech could probably create it but there's probably not much incentive for private companies and funding for public research is also tough.

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Wind
Advisor

Re: Wheat in row-crop rotation?

Sometimes I wonder why I'm not growing and harvesting Winter rye as a third rotation crop.  As of late, have been paying $20 a bag.  Lots of straw too.  With the push for cover crops, more seed will be needed.

 

 

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