Grow your own nitrogen! If you plant winter wheat, you have an opportunity to “grow” your own nitrogen (N) to help manage input costs and accrue soil quality benefits. The age-old practice of green manuring, especially in conjunction with wheat, can produce significant creditable N for corn the next year. It also protects the soil and may be eligible for cost share under local and Federal conservation programs.
Usually, ideal conditions for frost seeding occur in mid to late March. Low overnight temperatures cause the surface to freeze and crack. Warm daytime temperatures thaw the surface, sealing the cracks. If daytime thawing occurs, the daily “window” for seeding lasts only a few hours, beginning at dawn. Driving on thawing soil later in the day may compact it and injure the wheat.
This publication gives an overview of research results and offers advice on how to best manage the cropping system for good wheat and nitrogen yields.