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Last updated: 2022, June 12 

Is it possible to sowing wheat in February? Benefits of facultative wheat varieties from Strube


Author: Dr. Oleksii Orlov, PhD


This article created for Strube, a leading wheat breeder in the World



Breeders of Strube, thanks to the use of innovative technologies, had breed new wheat varieties that have a very high genetic potential for yield. These varieties can produce the largest yield, and therefore profit per hectare. By these varieties, it is possible not only to increase profits but also to reduce risks! When growing such varieties - the income will be maximally possible. In this article, we will look at these unique modern varieties of wheat that can be sown, both in the fall and spring - facultative wheat!


Late wheat planting have become very actual in recent years due to climate changes. The climate has changed, so the sowing time for winter wheat has changed! In many regions, now in autumn there is not enough moisture for emergence of wheat seeds , due to drought. In such cases, using Strube WeW facultative wheat varieties is very beneficial. As this wheat is just for such late sowing! At the photo - a very late sowing of wheat - the shooting date is December 11th (In the temperate climatic zone, Ukraine). Due to the fact that there was no moisture in the soil for a long time, seedlings were obtained only in December ( photo Dr. Oleksii Orlov)



What biological forms do wheat have?

In wheat, the following biological forms are distinguished: winter, spring, and facultative.

Winter wheat - these are wheat that, to undergo the vernalization process, in the initial period of development, require low temperatures from -1 to + 10 C for 25-50 days until stable negative temperatures coming, and wheat harvest will be received not earlier as in next year.

During spring sowing, winter wheat, as a rule, does not tillering and does not forming a stem and an ear.

Spring wheat - such wheat to go through the vernalization stage, require higher temperatures from +5 to + 20 C for 7-20 days. Therefore, spring wheat is sown in the spring and harvested in the same year.

Facultative WeW wheat from Strube are wheat that go through the vernalization stage at temperatures from + 3 to + 15 C. For regions with mild winters (in the temperate zone: Northern and Central USA, Southern and Central Canada, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, entire territory of Ukraine, Central and Southern Russia, China, Northern and Central Europe, Germany, France, Poland, England and Ireland, Central Norway, Japan and Far East, Southern Argentina, Southern New Zealand and Tasmania), Strube offers a number of WeW facultative wheat varieties that normally grow and develop and yield crops in both spring and autumn sowing.

The use of such facultative wheat is of great importance and can significantly reduce risks and reduce the intensity of labour of farmers in the autumn and spring periods, as well as during harvesting. As these work periods become more flexible.

It is very important to sow the WeW facultative wheat in the fall, since, having received some development from the fall, such wheat will be better using winter - spring stocks of moisture and nutrients than when sown in spring.

With the coming of steady warm weather in the spring, such wheat grow vegetative mass faster and less suffer from spring drought than typical spring wheat.

When sowing facultative wheat, it is very important that it will be possible the transfer of some field works to the fall that will significantly reduces during the spring sowing period works.


What gives for farmer and agro-industrialist the using of facultative WeW wheat in the production?

Due to climate changes, in the fall very often the soil is dry and not enough moisture to produce wheat seedlings. Therefore, many "wait until the last" and sow winter wheat very late. And such crops very often freeze in the winter due to insufficient development in the fall. But present a special varieties of wheat that are designed specifically for such sowing and tolerate for late sowing in autumn, early winter and February - these are WeW facultative wheat from Strube.

In the case of late sowing of ordinary winter wheat, farmers very often face various problems that do not allow them to be sown in time, and consequently lead to loss of profit.

The soil can be very wet - and because of this it is impossible to sow normally.

Often in late autumn it is generally impossible to sow ordinary winter wheat in time due to bad and very rainy weather or due to drought.

With later sowing of ordinary winter wheat, seedlings of ordinary wheat varieties are poorly developed and there is a danger of their freezing in winter.

The solution to these problems of late sowing - requires modern and flexible solutions.

One of such solution is Strube WeW facultative wheat (alternative wheat).

Such wheat can be sown without risks much later than ordinary winter wheat - when the adverse conditions are over.


Photo source: Strube

Using in wheat production of WeW facultative varieties from Strube - make it possible to sow wheat very late in autumn and early winter, as well as in February windows. Especially this is important for those who grow later crops - sugar beets, corn, sorghum and soy. Since, in this case, the field is will be free from crop very late. At the photo there is a highly productive field of facultative wheat with a yield potential of about 10 t/ha



It is especially beneficial to use WeW facultative wheat in the production for sugar beet growers.

Since this makes it possible to sow wheat without risks after harvesting sugar beets.

It also makes it possible to get a big profit from growing sugar beets, since with later harvesting beets, the sugar yield per hectare will be higher.

This is especially important when growing hybrids of sugar beet NZ, N and E-types, which form significantly more sugar, in case of longer growing periods (see the following photo).

Sugar beet is a very good in crop rotation for wheat, it leaves a large amount of nutrients in the soil.

Soils after sugar beets are considered very good for the subsequent sowing of wheat.


By using of later WeW facultative wheat sowing - makes it possible to later harvest of sugar beets, which when harvested later, can form an additional root crop of more than 2 t/ha and accumulate more sugar, which is about 7-15 euros per hectare additional profit! The photo shows a Vok sugar beet variety from Strube (NZ type), which showed a yield of 87.0 t/ha on an area of 68 ha in Svitanok Farm, 2018, Ukraine ( photo Dr. Oleksii Orlov)




What are the placing of WeW facultative wheat in crop rotation?

The use of such wheat gives great advantages, since it becomes possible to sow wheat even after late harvested crops.

Most modern farmers in Europe who grow late crops (for example, corn, soybeans, sugar beets) sow facultative wheat for 10-20% of the total wheat sowing area. And now, due to climatic changes, the area of ​​sowing facultative wheat is significantly increasing every year.

The best previous crop in crop rotation for WeW facultative wheat are broadleaf crops, soybeans, sunflowers, and sugar beets in particular.



What is the time of sowing facultative wheat WeW?

The basic rule of for sowing of facultative wheat is that you should never sow early - you must always sow late. The using of Strube facultative wheat varieties gives very great flexibility in sowing dates for farmers. If autumn conditions are very unfavourable for sowing wheat, then having facultative wheat seeds available, you can wait with virtually no restrictions - from mid of October until spring.

The following table shows the possible sowing dates for WeW facultative wheat varieties - they are very different from typical wheat.


Comparison of sowing dates of ordinary winter wheat and facultative WeW wheat

Source: BayWa/SAATEN-UNION, 2013



What is the winter stress hardiness in case of such late sowing of WeW facultative wheat?

Winter hardiness of such crops is quite high. According to German farmers, even sowing such varieties in January has never brought problems over the past 10 years. In Germany, none of the facultative wheat varieties were ever seriously damaged in the winter. Now in the temperate zone regions, in connection with climate change, conditions have developed where there is practically no seriously danger of freezing of such wheat varieties.



Will there be delays in harvesting time when using WeW facultative wheat and late sowing?

Of course, when sowing of facultative wheat in December or January, with a relatively warm winter, wheat plants will have a developmental deficit compared to winter wheat, which was sown at the optimum time. But all varieties of facultative wheat grow so fast and well that the development deficit is compensated until the harvest.

Even if facultative varieties are sown in February. This is due to their better tillering and faster growth of such varieties of facultative wheat.

The harvesting time for wheat in the late sowing of facultative varieties almost coincides with ordinary winter wheat. This is due to the very intensive starting growth of facultative wheat, which compensates for the development deficit compared to ordinary winter wheat sown in October.

One of the main competitive advantages of WeW facultative wheat is its very stable grain quality. Grains of such varieties have very stable indicators of the number of falls.

This means that facultative varieties can not be harvested immediately after ripening - they do not lose grain quality when delayed harvesting. In ordinary varieties of winter wheat, this is not so - for example, a good rainfall after ripening the crop significantly reduces the rate of fall of the grain.

Although WeW facultative wheat can be harvested later than ordinary winter wheat, cases of lodging of crops are very rare.



What is the yield level of facultative WeW wheat?

Facultative wheat, with late sowing, usually gives a grain harvest that is average for winter wheat in the farm, but can significantly exceed the yield of any spring wheat, due to the use of winter-spring moisture and an early effective start of growth in spring.

Facultative wheat yields are usually comparable to regular late-ripening winter wheat in case when sowing facultative wheat from November to February.

When sowing a facultative wheat at a later date, the yield of the facultative wheat will be comparable to the yield of spring wheat.

According to the sowing dates, the costs for the planned yield (fertilizers, plant protection products, agrochemistry, and so on) are calculated. 



What are the varieties of facultative wheat? Description of facultative wheat varieties WeW from Strube


Lennox (facultative wheat WeW)


Photo source: Strube

Wheat variety Lennox, facultative WeW wheat. Potential of yield - more than 9.5 t/ha!


  • For spring-autumn sowing (facultative wheat)

  • A good combination of crop stability and plants health

  • Recommended for areas with high rainfalls

  • Shoots appear earlier than on fields with ordinary winter wheat


Advantages of wheat variety Lennox



Wheat variety Lennox, facultative wheat WeW. This variety with proper growing technology is capable of providing the highest yield and excellent profit! ( photo Dr. Ivan Svydyniuk, Strube, 06.14.2019, Ukraine)


Description of wheat variety Lennox




Time of sowing and seed rate of wheat variety Lennox*

Seeding rate - "winter" sowing  of the Lennox variety

  • Early sowing (mid-October): 360-400 seeds / m2

  • Late sowing (November-December) - (10.10-25.11): 450-550 seeds / m2

Seeding rate - "spring sowing" (until 15.04) of the Lennox variety

  • After autumn frost - until mid-April: 400-450 seeds / m2


*These time of sowing and seed rates for Ukrainian conditions (time of sowing and seed rate must be locally adapted)



Matthus (facultative  wheat WeW)


Photo source: Strube

Wheat variety Matthus, facultative WeW wheat. Potential of yield - more than 9.0 t/ha!


  • For spring-autumn sowing (facultative wheat)

  • Shoots appear earlier than on ordinary winter wheat

  • Good grain loading

  • Resistant to drought and lodging


Advantages of wheat variety Matthus



Wheat variety Matthus, facultative wheat WeW. Good German breeding and flexible sowing times are a reduction of risks and a guarantee of obtaining high yields, while observing the cultivation technology! ( photo Dr. Ivan Svydyniuk, Strube, 06.14.2019, Ukraine)


Description of wheat variety Matthus




Time of sowing and seed rate of wheat variety Matthus*

  • Autumn sowing (10.10-25.11): 450-550 seeds / m2

  • After autumn frost - until mid-April (until 15.04): 400-450 seeds / m2

*These time of sowing and seed rates for Ukrainian conditions (time of sowing and seed rate must be locally adapted)



Granus (facultative  wheat WeW) 

Photo source: Strube

Wheat variety Granus, facultative WeW wheat. Potential of yield - more than 9.0 t/ha!


  • For spring-autumn sowing (facultative wheat)

  • High yield potential

  • Good baking qualities

  • For all growing areas in the temperate climatic zone


Advantages of wheat variety Granus




Wheat variety Granus, WeW facultative wheat. This variety is able to form a high yield with late sowing and in case of the right technology ( photo Dr. Ivan Svydyniuk, Strube, 06.14.2019, Ukraine)


Description of wheat variety Granus




Time of sowing and seed rate of wheat variety Granus*

  • Autumn sowing (10.10-25.11): 450-550 seeds / m2

  • After autumn frost - until mid-April (until 15.04): 400-450 seeds / m2

*These time of sowing and seed rates for Ukrainian conditions (time of sowing and seed rate must be locally adapted)



The right selection and purchase of WeW facultative wheat varieties for late sowing can not only significantly reduce risks and protect investments in wheat sowing, but also, with the right approach, give a significant increasing in yield compared to traditional spring wheat varieties!

For reducing of the risks of late sowing, it is recommended to leave at least 20% of the area at the farm for facultative wheat sowing (from the total wheat sowing). This will significantly reduce the risks, but not reduce the profit from growing wheat.

Ultimately, the use of facultative wheat in production gives higher financial results and ensures a stable profit flow without risks.


Contact Strube for purchase WeW facultative high-yield and profitable wheat seeds!



International contacts of Strube Company


Many thanks for the help in preparing the article: Strube GmBH, Dr. Lutz Gerrmann, Dr. Ivan Shvidinyuk, Dr. Vyacheslav Dimitrov


For purchase seeds, contact Strube:


+49 (0) 53 548-09-930,

+49 (0) 53 548-09-606, (wheat department)


Please tell Strube that you are contact from Agricultural Consulting website and ask for a discount!


The Author and Agricultural Consulting does not sell seeds!

Contact Agricultural Consulting for advice - we will do a technical audit and give recommendations about how to get a biggest wheat yield in your conditions!


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