Fall Buckwheat Problem?


Well-Known Member
Just put up the haybale blind and took the first look at that plot since planting. I’ve done t&m into buckets without any problems. This is the first time I’ve worked the ground after mowing mature buckwheat. The plot is now LOADED with small buckwheat plants. They look to be dying down because the the drought, but is this gonna be a problem for the wheat and rye? Or will the wheat and rye hang in fine until the first frost, which is about 2-3 weeks away likely. The buckwheat is about 2” tall right now. I should have taken a pic, but I didn’t. You can see wheat and rye come if you, but it looks pretty thin.
Some guys report a heavy volunteer crop of buckwheat that smothers their plant. It really depends on your soil conditions. Light disking will certainly increase the volunteer crop. For these guys, I'd suggest two possibilities. One is to simply T&M their next crop. This also helps retain moisture in a drought situation. The other option is to terminate the buckwheat before it goes to seed.

In my region, with my soils, a volunteer buckwheat crop is an advantage. First, because it is an annual, it comes up quickly and has lots of energy. I'm planting about the time native foods are beginning to scenesce. Deer are highly attracted to these young plants during our archery season. Buckwheat does not tolerate cold. What deer don't eat, is killed by cold weather making room for my fall plant.

Again, every location is somewhat different, so while I find a volunteer buckwheat crop an advantage, If it is too think and you have low deer densities, and live far enough south that you don't get a cold snap to kill it, I can see where it could be problematic.
From what you described, I think if the buckwheat dies in 2 or 3 weeks it isn’t going to hurt your grains. But, if you don’t get some rain, that will be a problem for the grains. I had a fall so dry once that the grains didn’t germinate until the next spring. Good luck.