Wheat stubble provides an excellent seedbed to plant forages into using no-till, according to Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska extension forage specialist. He cautions, however, some advanced planning is needed to be successful.
Anderson cites soil moisture conservation, reduced erosion, lower weed pressure, and reduced establishment costs as benefits to no-till seeding; though he notes that many growers still get spotty stands when no-tilling forage into wheat stubble.
The Nebraska forage specialist offers these tips to help ensure no-till success following wheat:1. Manage residue. Heavy residue can be a problem, especially behind the combine. This impacts drill operation, seed placement, and seedling survival. The best way to minimize these issues is to remove excess residue and use a well-functioning drill.
2. Control weeds. Both annual weeds and volunteer wheat can cause problems when no-tilling forages into wheat stubble. Control weeds prior to planting with herbicides like glyphosate and be ready with postemergence herbicides like Select or Poast Plus, when appropriate, for latter emerging weeds or volunteer wheat.
3. Adjust planting. Consider cross- or double-drilling. Plant one-half of the seed while driving one direction, then plant the other half driving across the rows. This helps fill in gaps, develop canopy earlier, improve weed control, and more easily reach the targeted seeding rate.