Many parts of Kansas have experienced weather-related delays in planting wheat. Under normal conditions, losing a small percentage of a wheat stand to disease is not a critical issue because the remaining plants can usually tiller enough to compensate for the lost plants, a Kansas State University plant pathologist said.
"When wheat is planted late, however, the potential for tillering and compensation is reduced," said Erick De Wolf, crop specialist with K-State Research and Extension. "Planting late may also increase the chances that seed is placed in cool wet soils, which can delay emergence and predispose plants to disease."
Increasing the seeding rate for the late-planted wheat will greatly help offset the reduced potential for tiller production, De Wolf said. Treating the seed with fungicide treatments will also reduce the potential risk of disease-related stand losses. Seed treatments such as Raxil MD, Dividend Extreme, and Charter would be good product options. These treatments can be applied using attachments to the augers used to handle seed prior to planting.