wheat varities

Asked July 19, 2015, 10:56 AM EDT

I am considering using a hard winter wheat as a cover crop in one of my garden areas. I can find no information on wheat varieties available. I checked the agronomy guide online. no help. Just thought it would be nice to grow a 20x50 foot bed of wheat. A few bushels is all I'd need for my small family for the year. I want varietal advice and nutrient needs as well as agronomic advice for small plot grain production.

Indiana County Pennsylvania

1 Response

Great question.You are not the first person to ask about growing wheat on a small scale. Below is a response to a similar question asked in the Pittsburgh Area. I would also refer you to a publication from Virginia. It is important to remember we are a much colder climate here in Western PA and need to adhere to earlier planting dates found in the agronomy guide, cold tolerant varieties and increased disease pressures, such as fusarium which causes a vomitoxin that can make you very sick. Proper management and testing is needed to produce a quality wheat. This is the Virginia Pub, specific to wheat for flour. https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/424/424-024/424-024.html

This is the response from our state specialist Dr. Greg Roth: Most wheat here in PA is planted in the fall using winter wheat. For winter wheat, I would recommend Expedition, a hard red winter wheat that has done well in PA. Its available from Lakeview Organic in NY: http://lakevieworganicgrain.com/info_docs/newsletter%20-%20late%20summer%202014-%208.29.14.pdf

Wheat can be planted in the spring, but yields are a bit lower. For spring wheat for bread making in PA I would go with Glenn, also available from Lakeview Organic in NY. http://lakevieworganicgrain.com/info_docs/newsletter%20-%20late%20summer%202014-%208.29.14.pdf

The typical wheats grown in PA are soft red winter wheats and they are not the best for making bread. There are other varieties in addition to the ones mentioned above but they would be a good start.