Did you know that a family of four could live off of the bread produced from 1 acre of wheat for 10 whole years? Wheat is incredibly important for the production of many foods we eat daily around the world, in fact there are whole websites dedicated to the crop and the farmers that grow it. Many scientists also consider it to be the key to solving malnourishment in underfed populations across the globe. It really seems that improving wheat yield and quality is essential for solving world hunger, reducing waste on farm land from spoiled crop and boosting the efficiency of current farm management practices.
1 – Reduce tillage.
If you’ve already got good quality, nutritious soil (either through fertilising or crop rotation) don’t then overdo it with tilling. Leaving the soil as it is will encourage nutrient uptake in wheat.
2 – Try nitrogen fertiliser.
Using a nitrogen rich fertiliser has been shown to improve yield without sacrificing quality and is a much more efficient choice compared to simple farmyard manure.
3 – Try green manure.
On fertile soils, you can try using green manure. Pick forage legumes to grow (preventing weeds from emerging) and then turn into the soil to improve structure and act as manure.
4 – Fungicides.
Farmers in Kansas lost 23% of their wheat crops to fungi wheat diseases in 2015. A simple mid-season fungicide spray can drastically reduce this figure, boosting wheat yields.
5 – Consider T6P.
UK scientists have developed synthetic sugars that are used in the natural process of controlling how wheat uses sucrose for developing wheat grains. The more T6P available to wheat crops, the better yield improvement.
Although that last point won’t be available to the average farmer just yet, with a little planning and small changes to your current farm management during wheat growing season, you can start to really bump up your numbers. The key to finding out these tips is to understand the wheat crop itself. Research how the crop grows and what it needs to produce wheat grain at optimum and try to meet that for wheat management success!