With price spreads between feed wheat and milling winter wheat compared to HRSW very narrow this fall, it looks very attractive to grow a winter crop on either irrigation or dry land.
Irrigated and dry land winter wheat can yield 20 to 30 per cent more than HRSW. And, if you’re selling into the feed market there is less downgrading risk with winter wheat. If your HRSW is downgraded regularly, then the advantage of a winter wheat is increased.
As well, winter wheat can spread out spring workload, help with weed control, take advantage of spring moisture, provide diversity in your farm marketing as well as habitat for nesting animals.
We have been growing a number of milling varieties — Moats, Flourish, Gateway and Emerson. All of these varieties have protein, yield and disease package advantages over the check variety. They range in height over 20 cm so there are large differences in these varieties.
Table 1 (below) shows our irrigated/high moisture yields and numbers from September 2015. Notice the costs are higher on winter wheat due to higher fertility and increased freight costs per acre.
The second table (below) shows Southern Alberta dry land yields and September 2015 prices. Yields for areas with medium moisture conditions will be between these charts for profitably with each crop.