Winter Cropping, Relay Intercropping,
Winter Canola, Winter Rape, Winter Barley,
Winter Triticale, and perennial crops.
Accepting more net dollars with annual cropping
of winter crops in 20 inch or 30 inch rows with
average annual yields may produce more net
dollars than two year fallow average yields.
greatest net dollars generated in the dryland PNW
is accomplished with perennial and winter crops.
Paired row 8/22 Winter Wheat and Winter Barley.
Double. Average row spacing 15" Paired row 8/22
Winter Barley Sunstar Pride and Sunstar
famous plant breeder Dr. Orville Vogel at WSU,
1962 released short statured semi-dwarf wheats
such as Gaines and Nu-Gaines. The varieties
improved soft white winter wheat yields 30%
to 50% because there was
more grain and less
straw. Norman Bourlaug engineered the Green
Revolution and WSU provided high yielding short
statured wheats that were used by Norman
Bourlaug to fulfill the dream of feeding a
hungry planet. The goal of WSU breeders was less
straw and more grain, reduced lodging and better
private plant breeder at Aberdeen, Idaho, Don
Sunderland developed high yielding winter barley
that is short statured and allows yields in the
250 bushel range with Sun-Star Pride and Sun
Star Double. The crop is well accepted under
wheel line irrigation with virtually
no lodging. Plant breeders constantly review
their lines and determine the best grain and
straw ratios. Bigger heads, less straw and stiff
straw results from years of work.
combined total of 350 years of experience of
winter wheat production is being combined into a
new thought process.
McProud, an outstanding private plant breeder in
the PNW, is working with Dick Lloyd
of Lewiston, Idaho to develop a new plot drill.
Wayne's discovery is similar to Bob Stewart's
discovery at Bushland, Texas raising dry
land Milo at 3,000 feet and higher.
McProud's discovery....Winter Wheat planted in
hills of 30 seeds with a 24 inch spacing to the
next hill produces 25% to 30% better yields in
dry land wheat
Stewart's discovery is similar with dry
land Milo planted in clumps. Milo will
produce better yields all the way 6,000 pounds
per acre...up to 25% better yields in dry
planted in clumps. Milo planted at higher
moisture such as irrigation has a reduced yield
potential. The yield is reduced a small amount
when yields go above 6,000 pounds per acre.
Testing has been carried out at Tribune, KS and
Papendick and Jim Cook of the USDA-ARS, Pullman,
Washington also discovered that Soft
White Winter Wheat seeded in September at Lind,
Washington would produce the same yields on 7
inch, 14 inch, and 21 inch spacing....at 28 inch
spacing the yields dropped about
3%.....providing that weed control was good.
Papendick and Cook's work was never published
but mentioned in Steep II publications. A 7 inch
double disc drill was used and the seed row seed
rate was held constant by blanking the seed runs
in four different spacing's. However, weed
control and a good fall start was the key to
produce the same yields. In row seed rates were
not increased as the drill was blanked for each
spacing. Fall tillering was key. Fall tillering
may not be required in annual cropping with high
seed population in a single row.
Today it may be possible to raise dry land Soft
White Winter Wheat on 20 inch and 30 inch
spacing. Combining the discoveries of several
Wide seed row spacing at paired row 8/22
with soy bean relay intercrop
on 30" rows.
Hard white winter wheat, General
Mills New Horizon.
No-till pioneer, Mort
Swanson produced several good winter wheat crops in the higher
21" Palouse rainfall. Mort seeded winter wheat on 18 inch
spacing using the drill "Old Yeller" which was the precursor
drill to the Yielder Pioneer drills. Mort's discovery with 18
inch spacing was more grain and less straw. Weed control was
actually better because of the herbicide coverage and access to
the competing weeds.
Sunstar Pride Winter Barley, paired row 8/22.
T-4 and T-5 reduce yields and quality.
Smaller heads of Hard White
Winter Wheat allows T-1 and T-2
tillers to fully fill the head.
Yielder drills are
spaced at paired row, 5/15 and 4/16 to produce good winter wheat
yields. Off row light effect and open canopy results in more
light and less foliar disease problems. The edge row
light effect produces gigantic wheat heads with Stephens Soft
White Winter Wheat.
King of Winter Wheat....The highest dry
land yields in the world are produced
with the Yielder drills....165 bushels per acre
of Soft White Winter Wheat in field wide
averages in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. With
yield monitors topping 210 plus bushel per acre
at some field locations. Offset Leading Double
Disc openers meter seed right at the opener
allowing the seeds to be delivered to exact
population. As the Yielder drill seeds at high
speed the openers meter the seed inside the
offset leading disc opener to produce even
spacing of the seed in a very narrow band at
precision depth. The deep bands of nutrients are
concentrated on 20 inch centers providing
critical mass for N,P and S efficiency and root
pattern geometry. The 5/15 paired rows of
openers meter the seed which is aligned on both
side of the 20 inch deep band. The band and
row alignment remains constant at 2.5 inches to
side of the deep band on all slope angles. The
seed is trapped in the turning blades allowing
seed to be delivered evenly on very steep
slopes. Paired Row was invented by
Yielder Pioneer personnel in 1982.
Yielder Paired Row resulted from an accidental
opener setup mistake in 1980. The
Swanson seed metering opener was invented in
1974 and patented in 1977. The Yielder drill is
designed to deliver 40 to 50 years of service
using stainless steel construction and 24 inch
apparent that at some point the root
pattern geometry and the soil moisture
harvesting capability of winter wheat begins
to diminish. That root pattern dimension for
harvesting soil stored moisture appears to occur
between 21 and 28 inch spacing.
limitations of dry land winter wheat....below 18
inch rainfall is soil stored moisture. Following
the rule.....4 inches of soil stored moisture is
required to propagate the winter wheat plant and
7 bushels per inch of stored soil moisture will
produce the yield level is 98 bushels per acre
at maximum efficiency. It maybe that the rule
is changed as new winter wheat root geometries
are discovered. It is estimated that 95% of all
the dry land winter wheat produced falls below
18 inches of soil stored moisture.
known that dry land winter wheat producers and
raising too much straw....wasting seed, valuable
light, and soil moisture trying to produce a
winter wheat crop on narrow seed
row spacing....Producers think that weed control
would be better with narrow seed row spacing.
Seed may be expensive enough that other weed
control means should be employed. Heavy stubble
may reduce conservation efforts promoting
tillage and plowing. Thus heavy field
residue promotes field burning and residue
proposals for dry land
winter wheat producers should be considered in
20 to 98 bushel per acre production scenarios.
Wheat can be row cropped on 20 inch and 30 inch
spacing to improve yields and provide
more options. More Grain and less straw will
bands of nutrients on 15 inch band centers
should be dedicated to each 30 inch rows. The
bands are crowded toward the seed row and
located 2 inches to the side of each seed row.
Possibly one of the two bands should be set
further away on the opposite side of the seed
row about 4 inches to allow the wheat plant to
access the opposing band latter in the season.
An accessible target for early emergence and a
delayed band target for secondary root access
and 2nd pair seminal root access.
Reverse Paired Row would result with two bands
for each seed row. N and P costs would be
reduced...in fact efficiency of placed nutrient
products would exceed previous expectations.
Band stability would result on 20 inch and 30
inch spacing using TAPPS. However, a single 20
inch or 30 inch band per each seed row may
produce the best results due to machinery cost
and nutrient performance.
20 inch and 30 inch opener spacing would allow
seed to be crowded very closely at .25 to .5
inch seed spacing in tight seed rows preventing
tillering and allowing the strongest roots to
supply moisture to the main T-1 and T-2 stems
and roots. Never forgetting that 70% of the
winter wheat raised in the state of Washington
is seeded on 16 inch and 18 inch seed
Seeding to Population with higher seed costs.
Thus producers could seed to population on 20
inch and 30 inch seed rows by avoiding the
tillering with tight seed rows using time
proven offset leading double disc openers or
Deere 1890 openers. Seed is delivered and
metered into to seed row widths on no greater
than 3/8" wide. Precision seed placement for
winter wheat is just the opposite of fanning or
ribbon seeding techniques utilized on air
seeders to promote tillering in spring wheat.
The climatology of the summer rainfall with
artic front, rainfed moisture drives opener
design. Landscape, soil type, depth of soil,
rainfall pattern, rainfall amounts and rotation
drive the opener design.
ideal in row seed spacing is 18 to 21 kernels in
alignment and spaced 5/8" to 3/4" apart in the
row length to allow the seedling wheat team of
emerging plants to work together to produce good
yields. Therefore it is important to look at
your 20 year rainfall average and the period of
rainfall. Then the proper row spacing can be
determined to match the soil stored moisture.
Populations of 2.1 million is acceptable if
moisture is not limiting. Refer to the plant
breeder and ask how many kernels are maximum in
T-1 and T-2. They will be impressed with your
ability to seed to population to maximize the
variety. The plant requires 4 inches of soil
moisture to propagate and each 1 inch after the
first 4 inches equals 7 bushels of yield. A 10
inch drill will requires 14.4 inches of travel
to equal one square foot or 25.2 seeds in the
travel distance. The result is 1,117,872 seeds
bushel and a peck....as your granddad
said...that is the seed rate....not quite true
since wheat can vary from 8,000 to 16,000 seeds
per pounds. Soft White Winter Wheat at 8,600
kernels per pound requires 129.98 pounds per
acre or 2 bushel and a peck. HRRW at 15,000
kernels per pound requires 74.52 pounds or 1.25
bushels. 7.5 inch spacing is multiplied by 1.33
for the correct seed rate. 12 inch spacing is
divided by .833 for the correct seed rate.
plant population of 1.2 million covers rainfall
levels from 18 to 14 inch of soil stored
moisture on 10 inch spacing. Below 14 inch
rainfall consider 12 inch and 15 inch spacing.
20 inch and 30 inch spacing is simply the same
as 10 inch spacing since the goal is to crowd
the seed even closer to spacing's of 3/8' to
1/4". Crowding seed will force the plant to
produce two good tillers and provide off row
light effect to the growing crop.
Seeding with a 7.5 inch drill is acceptable
under two conditions flax is in rotation or it
is desirable to raise straw. Grazing of cattle
on winter wheat in soils with low soil stored
moisture may not be economical considering the
current price of wheat. Winter Wheat for
grazing can be very significantly advanced with
TAPPS formulation and good fall start on 10 inch
Special Note and of great concern.
Machine opener spacing and opener selection
along with machine width is often dictated by
the machinery dealer based on what is available.
The machine salesman sells from a catalog of
what might be right...and not what is right.
Independent agronomists, custom seeders, plant
breeders, and ag engineers should be consulted
and not the machinery dealer.
aware, the machinery dealer is not an agronomist
nor is he able compute the need. Machinery sales
personnel are more concerned about the trade-in
than the correct selection of the new tool.
Inventory is the problem...move the inventory.
literature may tell one story. How the machine
and opener works on your soils is not in the
literature. To try out a new machine or seeding
tool use a custom seeder that is experienced
with the machine. Spend time in the field and
learn exactly why the custom seeding machine or
the new tool might be the right tool. Never
purchase a machine until you understand the
pro's and con's. Landscape, Rotation, Rainfall
and Rainfall pattern...soil type and soil depth
plays a big role in the proper machine
Fanning or ribbon seeding
produces extra tillers that reduce plant efficiency
and result in reduced yield and quality in the
Winter Rainfall pattern of the dry western
conditions. Virtually no exportable grain was found
in 60% of the heads.
T-2 produce yield and quality. T -3, T-4, & T-5
yields and quality. Commonly referred to as "Sucker
The stubble shows the ribbon or fanning seed
delivery pattern that allows the plant to tiller.
More straw and less exportable grain results.
Reviewing the lower sucker T-3,T-4 and T-5 heads and
upright T-1 and T-2 higher heads which are not
indicating low test weight, incomplete filling and
Drooping heads mean good yields and quality with
heads filled to the top.
ribbon seeding on 12" band centers results in a
beautiful canopy and reduced yields and quality. At
Lewiston, Idaho, June 16, 06 this DNSW field showed
70 bushel per acre yield potential with the fanning
opener on the right...At harvest the yield was cut
in half at 38 bushels per acre. Virtually no berries
were found in T-3, T-4 and T-5. Wasted energy and
wasted water with improper opener selection for the
seeding opener spreads the seed in wide seeding
bands allowing the plant to tiller.
The opener was designed for the Summer Rainfall
This opener can not seed to population. The plant
breeder designed the spring wheat plant not to
tiller to assure high
quality grain with a good yield. Plant breeders are
aware of the tillering problem but they seem to
be unable to express the importance of 2 to 3
tillers is required to produce quality wheat crops.
Wide 20 inch and 30 inch seed rows
reduce chemical use. Fungicides can be targeted
on the rows of wheat and better coverage results
with costs reduced 50%. Fungicides are difficult
to apply effectively in solid canopy designs
since the lower leaves and heads are difficult
to target. Multiple head spray tips can
penetrate the row crop wheat from all three
sides of the 20 inch and 30 inch row. From the
top to the sides the fungicides can be applied
with much higher coverage in a limited area.
Herbicides will penetrate and target weeds
located between the wide 20 inch and 30
inch rows. Such materials as IPC and Sevin or
Chemhoe could be utilized in a 10 inch wide
strip between the rows. Sprayers can be modified
to band spray which allows the row area to
avoided and weeds to be targeted.
Wide 20 inch and 30 inch seed rows can expanded
or reduced depending on soil types to produce a
moisture laden chemfallow strip which would
allow continuous winter wheat to be produced.
In fact it maybe better to give back 10% of the
yield potential to establish the winter wheat
crop with a mid-row chemical fallow technique.
Not all the soil moisture should be harvested in
low rainfall areas which allows for annual
cropping to be implemented. A 3 inch to 5 inch
band of soil is at rest and holding moisture for
the fall start of canola or winter wheat.
Matrix Potential of the soil moisture must be
determined along with the exploratory nature of
the variety of winter wheat. Once the soil Matrix
Potential is determined the seed row
width can be determined. The purpose of the
chemfallow strip is to reserve bank of moisture
to establish the next crop. In other words less
straw and more grain and potential to annual
crop with very little yield compromise. More
grain in two years as compared to chemfallow
winter wheat. Maximum grain and minimum straw
allows better returns, faster harvest and more
net dollars. The seed row width is determined by
the soil, the rainfall pattern and the variety
Matrix potential of the soil
visually explained. At some band width the moisture
remains close to the soil surface and is
not harvested by the growing crop.
Standing Stubble, the Dynamic snow catch, retrieving
snow from plowed ground in an adjoining field. Even
and uniform distribution of soil moisture with snow
trapping using No-till standing stubble. Plowed
soils have 4 inches less soil stored moisture as a
result with heavy snow catch in draws and no snow
depth on knolls creating a highly variable
distribution of winter moisture.
9. Wide 20
inch and 30 inch rows of winter wheat may allow
winter canola to be established in the summer months
at the center between the 20 inch and 30 inch rows.
The system of Relay Intercropping could have
profound effects on soil quality and increasing
overall yields of winter wheat and winter canola in
at least 2 years or rotation. The advantages of
seeding in 30 inch rows would allow equipment to
proceed into the growing crop without damaging the
Relay Intercrop system was explained and
discussed at WSU in 2002 and 2003. The plan was to
build a seeding and banding machine on 20 inch and
30 inch centers to raise two winter crops in two
years in the low and mid rainfall. Although the
machine was never built the system appears to have
even greater potential due to higher energy costs
and the need for Bio-Diesel. Pictures of such a
system and drill are included below.
Rotational Band Loading
by seeding back on top of last years stubble in a
suitable plant environment allowing snow trapping
and reducing winter kill crop damage.
photos below taken on the same day in adjoining
fields at Quinter, KS.
Great Plains snow
trap, standing stubble.
Great Plains, deep furrow winter wheat
field with no snow trap
Clearance Sprayer to reduce chemical costs and less
Intercrop Drill and nutrient banding tool to reduce
nutrient costs and allow for precision seed and
nutrient placement at critical seeding depths.
belted or wheel tractor on 120 inch centers
utilizing RTK or high quality guidance.
Threshers with tires set on 120 and 180 gauge lines
at typical 30 foot header widths to spread residue
out wagons on 180 gauge lines.
in 20, 24, 30 and 36 inch rows.
rates in 1 foot of row width at 18,24,36,48, and 60
Matrix Potential of the chemfallow band and
germinating moisture in 24,30,36 and 42 inch
spacings would determine the average band width of
breeders need to help select varieties that do not
tiller profusely and waste energy.
ASABE, ASA, WSDA