Last updated February 23, 2014

Planting - Dimensions of planting

planting date

row spacing

plant density

seeding depth


  • Needs to be timely
  • Seed winter wheat when the danger of APHID and HESSIAN FLY infestation is past
  • Don't plant winter wheat too late
    • Want the plants to establish at least 3 to 4 good leaves and a good root system before freeze-up
  • Spring wheat planting date - plant early, but don't work the soil when wet


  • Most grain drills seed in 6" or 7" row widths
  • Narrower row widths have been investigated for several small grains
  • Grain yields may be increased 5 to 10% when 3" to 4" row widths are used


Traditionally, seeding rates have been expressed in bu/a, but this is not very precise because seed #/bu varies considerably according to VARIETY and ENVIRONMENT

Recommendations are now being made on the basis of seed #/sq ft

Most common seeding rates: 25-40 seeds/ft2

Seeding rate is influence by several factors:

  • Probability of snow cover: Heavier rates often used on fields that may lack adequate snow cover
  • Winter hardiness of varieties: Winter tender varieties often seeded at higher rates than winter hardy varieties
  • Later planting dates - increase seeding rate


  • Plant 1 to 1 1/2" if soil moisture is good
  • Plant slightly deeper (1 1/2 to 2") if topsoil is dry
  • Mesocotyl

Planting equipment

  • The best grain drills have double-disc openers and press (firming) wheels.
  • These ensure uniform depth and good soil-seed contact, and promote RAPID GERMINATION and UNIFORM STANDS


Tramlines are unseeded tracks through a field that are used to facilitate spraying or spreading of CHEMICALS and FERTILIZER without damaging the standing crop

Created by blocking drill openers that correspond to width of the tracks of sprayer tractor

Advantages of tramlines

  • Eliminate wheel damaged plants which are more easily infected by diseases
  • Border plants next to the tracks produce more grain and compensate for no plants in the tracks
  • Tracks may be more compacted and dry faster than the remainder of the field, permitting timely application of chemicals and fertilizer

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