It is that time of the year again to start planning for winter grains. Here in Northern Indiana, I usually plant around the first of October. Our Hessian Fly date is September 15th. With the uptick of strange weather I opt for planting a little later into fall to be on the safe side. I know that my region has been wavering between what we used to be (zone 5) and what we may become (a zone 6).
I currently have available the following winter wheat varieties: Banatka, Ukrainka, Rouge de Bordeaux, Red Fife and Turkey Red. These have proven to be very reliable and are all excellent “free threshing” bread wheats. In addition, I have added 2 new Italian varieties, Solina and Terminillo, both of which did well for me this season, although I would give the Solina very high remarks! The Terminillo is something a bit different. It is a cross between rye and wheat but it is not triticale. The seed for both of these were sent to me from Italy and they are the product of Italian farmers and not sourced from a Institutional Seed Bank.
I also have Sangaste’ Estonian Rye and 2 “spring” barley varieties, Sumire Mochi and Faust, that survived last winter with no issues. These are both “free threshing” and also produced the earliest harvest of grain I have ever had (June 12th). This last winter was fairly mild overall, although we did hit some lows early on nearing -15 fahrenheit. If you live in a zone 5 or colder I would suggest a trial planting to see how these barleys fare in your region.
Here is a link to all the fall planted crops https://www.sherckseeds.com/seeds/grains/wheat/fall-planted-grains/
The desire to experiment with certain traditionally “spring” crops as fall planted comes from my conclusion that early spring planting here in my region is a real gamble. This spring (2018) was one of the wettest I have experienced, with June having 15 days of measurable rainfall. Aside from getting the crops in the ground, disease issues were problematic for many of my spring planted wheat varieties. The barley trials managed better than the wheat, but given all the rain during flowering and grain fill in June, fall planting appears to be a better option for barley as well. Oats seem to be little bothered by all the wet as long as one can get them planted early enough. With that said, my seed offerings for 2019 will be the last to include spring planted wheat and barley. I will be focusing solely on fall varieties. In anticipation of this change, I am excited about planting this coming October, a number of Republic of Georgia wheat cultivars, winter durum wheat and a new variety of hulless barley,bred for fall planting.
As usual, I will have all other seed varieties available around the middle of November. For the 2019 season I have a number of new, early maturing upland rice cultivars, including 2 red “sticky” types. Gaspe’ flint corn will be available as a composite of 4 strains. I am able to begin selecting for the best ears, now that the Gaspe’ genepool is broader. This is an example of a new stage in my seed saving efforts. I will be doing less trialing of new material in the future and instead, be working with the best varieties I have found over these last 6 years.
Thanks again for your interest and support!