How Using Optimal Seeding Rates Improves Potential for Wheat Yields and Profitability


Wheat growers who plant using targeted seeding rates have an opportunity to maximize productivity and profit potential compared to planting based on a simple pounds per- acre approach. Scale

“Many wheat growers plant seed by the pound, primarily because that’s the way they’ve traditionally done it or because they don’t have a good way of knowing the exact number of seeds in a pound of the wheat variety they’ve purchased,” said John Fietsam, Technical Product Lead with WestBred® Wheat.

“But that doesn’t mean that this historical approach is accurate or what’s best when it comes to maximizing yield and profit potential, which is particularly important in today’s challenging economic environment. In fact, more wheat agronomists and university experts are recommending that, in order to achieve more accurate seeding results, growers should base wheat seeding rates on seeds per acre and not only pounds per acre, due to wide variances in the number of seeds that can be in a pound.”

To enable growers to better calibrate their air seeders or drills for improved yield potential and efficiency, WestBred® wheat recently introduced the ConnectIN™ Wheat Insight System, which gives wheat seed suppliers the ability to provide growers Optimal Seeding Rate recommendations for the variety they are purchasing. Optimal Seeding Rate recommendations are based on key factors like seed count per pound, geography, planting date, production practices and the targeted seeds per acre identified for the farm.

“Many wheat growers want to know how many seeds to plant per acre, how many seeds are in a pound of the variety they’ve purchased and how it all relates to their planting environment,” said Fietsam. “The ConnectIN System, by providing Optimal Seeding Rate recommendations, gives growers valuable information in a quick, convenient format that they can easily use for planting.”

Fietsam noted that since variations in seed size and density can have a dramatic impact on how many seeds are in a pound, planting based on only pounds per acre can prevent growers from optimizing results.

Although some wheat varieties are capable of compensating somewhat and producing similar grain yields across a fairly wide range of seeding rates, using seeding rates that are too low can lead to reliance on excessive tillering, delayed maturity, increased weed competition and failure to make use of the full yield potential.

Seeding rates that are too high may increase costs, result in increased lodging and possibly reduce yield potential. Increased competition among plants also can lead to fewer kernels per head and lower kernel weight. In comparison, planting based on Optimal Seeding Rate recommendations can result in a more targeted plant population that:


“With Optimal Seeding Rate recommendations, the key benefit is the value being received by the grower,” said Fietsam. “We believe we can enhance the way wheat is planted by providing the grower more valuable information about the variety they have purchased and are about to plant.”

For more information about the advantages of Optimal Seeding Rates and the ConnectIN Wheat Insight System from WestBred wheat, see your WestBred representative, call (800) 705-2309 or visit


Monsanto and Vine Design®, WestBred and Design® and WestBred® are registered trademarks and ConnectIN™ is a trademark of Monsanto Technology, LLC. ©2016 Monsanto Company. MWHE-16025