Over the past three years we have been planting winter wheat seeding rates ranging from 900,000 up to 2.2 million seeds per acre. Averaged over the last three seasons (2018-2020), yields ranged from 85-93 bu/acre, with some differences between seeding rates (Figure 1).

Compared with the two lowest seeding rates, higher yields were seen between planting rates of 1.5 to 2.0 million seeds per acre. Within that range though (1.5 -2.0), yields were not found to be statistically different (Table 1). This means you could expect similar yields if planting wheat between 1.5 to 2 million seeds per acre. Planting at 2.2 million seeds reduced yield back to 91 bu/acre, which was not found to be different from planting at 900,000 seeds per acre.


Table 1: Yields (bu/acre) from different seeding rates in Georgetown, DE.
Seeding Rate Yield
900,000 85.3 bc
1,200,000 85.0 c
1,500,000 93.1 a
1,800,000 91.9 a
2,000,000 92.5 a
2,200,000 91.1 ab

These results support the general recommendation of planting winter wheat at a range of 1.5 to 2 million seeds per acre, but there is no apparent advantage of planting above 1.5 million seeds. Management, soil type, and weather could certainly shift these results, and may not be the same across the state. Soils in Georgetown are sandy with low moisture and nutrient holding capacity, and these results may fit those soil types the best.


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