- Grown in America since the colonial days
- Annual crop
- Favorited by honey bees as a pollinator.
- Grows 2’ to 5’ tall
- Single, erect stem with many branches
- Leaf blades are 2” to 4” long and triangular or heart shaped
- Shallow taproot, numerous short side roots.
- Excellent addition to rotational crops. Root residues make phosphorus more available to the follow-up crop.
- Protein in leaves range from 9 to 20 percent.
- Grows best under cool, moist conditions
- Matures in 10 – 12 weeks, when planted later in the season maturity can occur in six to nine weeks.
- Best planted soon after last frost but can be planted from April until September in the south.
- Germination is best at 80° degrees (F) soil temperature but will germinate at any temperature between 45° and 105° degrees (F).
- Yield of early plantings may be impacted by hot, dry weather during bloom.
- Good yields are 1-1/2 to 3 tons / acre over a short period of productivity.
- Tolerates a wide variety of soil conditions but does not do good in heavy, wet soils or hastily prepared land or rough, stony areas.
- Excellent smother crop. Used to control quackgrass, thistle, creeping jenny, leafy spurge, Russian knapweed and perennial peppergrass.
- Should not be used as a companion crop to legumes because of its early competiveness.
- Buckwheat will reseed itself if mowed after the plant has matured and will produce another stand.
- Deer will heavily browse the leaves and blooms. They will sometimes, not as often, eat the mature seeds as well.
- If unfamiliar, deer may take a season or two to discover and begin using buckwheat. Once discovered, grazing wipeouts will most likely occur in plots less than 3 acres.
- Cold sensitive. Buckwheat will die after the first frost but will decompose quickly leaving it's nutrients in the soil for the next crop.
If you soil test shows levels of phosphorus and potassium are medium or above, additional applications of phosphorus and potash will not be needed. In lieu of soil tests, apply 100 – 300 lbs. / acre of 3-12-12 or 5-10-15, or apply about 100 – 150 lbs. / acre of 8-24-24. Buckwheat does not need a lot of nitrogen. Limit Nitrogen to 10 to 20 lbs. / acre.
- Tolerates a wide range of soil acidity but lime is beneficial if pH is below 5.5.
Mono: 36 – 50 lbs. / acre drilled or 60 lbs. / acre broadcast, no deeper than 2”. Germination in about six days.
Buckwheat (20 lbs. / acre) & tall grain sorghum (5 lbs. / acre) or corn (10 lbs. / acre) plus cowpeas (25 lbs. / acre) or soybeans (25 lbs. / acre). Increase fertilization if planting in a mix to 300 lbs. / acre of 19-19-19.
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