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In the west-central Great Plains, the risk of soil erosion due to wind is high, particularly during winter. One way to reduce soil erosion is to plant winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L. ) early in the season, so that the crop establishes four tillers prior to the onset of winter dormancy. Currently, however, wheat is seeded late in the planting season to reduce disease and insect infestation. In this study, we evaluated potential soil erosion in relation to seeding date. Using historical climate data, we determined the probability that winter wheat plants will establish four tillers prior to dormancy at 55 sites throughout the west central Great Plains using current seeding dates. For many locations, the currently recommended planting date results in a low probability of achieving the growth required to reduce soil erosion. Planting one to three weeks earlier would reduce the potential of soil erosion during winter months. The use of earlier seeding dates, however, will depend upon the development of wheat cultivars that have improved disease and insect resistance.