Benefits of Growing Wheat
Although typically grown as a cash grain, winter wheat can provide most of the cover crop benefits of other cereal crops as well as a grazing option prior to spring tiller elongations. Its less likely than barley or rye to become a weed and is easier to kill. Wheat is slower to mature than some cereals, so there is no rush to kill it early in spring and risk compacting soil in wet conditions. It is increasingly grown instead of rye because it is less expensive and easier to manage in spring.
When grown as a cover crop or for grain, winter wheat adds rotation options for underseeding a legume , such as red clover or sweet clover for forage or nitrogen. It works well in no-till or reduced-tillage systems and for weed control in potatoes grown with irrigation in semi-arid regions.
Benefits of wheat — erosion control, nutrient cash crop, cash and cover crop, weed suppressor, soil builder and organic matter source, spring pasture.