Locally, winter wheat is grown for grazing only, dual purpose (grazing and grain), or grain only.
If someone is planning on grazing out their wheat they'll usually try to plant it a lot earlier (early to mid September) to get more forage in the fall, then they'll graze it until about April or May. I've heard two different schools of thought on the planting rate, one is that the earlier you plant the lower the rate of seed you need (~60 lb. or 1 bushel per acre) since wheat will compensate by tillering more if it's planted earlier. The other claim is that you need to plant an even higher rate of seed (2 to 3 bu./acre) because more seed means more plants which gives you more forage. Most of the fertility (nitrogen and possibly phosphorus) is applied at planting in the fall to help produce more forage.
Wheat grown for grain can be planted much later in the year (up until December 1 if you want to get crop insurance) since to get a decent grain yield, wheat only needs to produce 3-4 tillers before going dormant in the winter. For grain only, about a third of the nitrogen is applied at planting, then it will be topdressed in the spring with the rest of the nitrogen to hopefully produce more grain instead of more straw.
Most of the wheat I'm planting is dual-purpose wheat for both grazing and grain. Dual-purpose wheat is planted and managed somewhere in between grazing-only and grain-only. I try to plant at least 90 lb./acre in mid-October with about half of my nitrogen applied to get some forage in the fall, then I'll topdress the other half of the nitrogen in mid-February (depending on how much moisture we've gotten, etc.).
But, the winters have been so dry or the rain came at the wrong time for the last 4-5 years that I haven't had any decent wheat pasture so I haven't really had any dual-purpose wheat for awhile. It would be nice to be able to graze some wheat pasture, but the price of wheat was high enough in most of those years that for awhile I was thinking that growing wheat for the grain might make more sense. Now, as the price for wheat has went down and cattle prices have went up even more, it might make more sense to graze more of that wheat (although wheat pasture is better suited to grazing stockers than grazing cows).
I switched to no-till about four years ago, so I was able to no-till my wheat into some relatively weed-free crabgrass stubble (much better than my tillage days when the dust would be blowing while I was trying to plant my wheat). I really like drilling wheat into crabgrass stubble and the way it makes a nice layer of mulch after the coulters slice through it (it could pour down rain right now and I wouldn't have much erosion).
When people think about wheat fields, they probably imagine big flat fields of wheat (I assume), but all the fields I farm are far from flat and have terraces running around the contours. It's hard to fully capture in a photo, but I've always liked the look of the patterns of the curves of the terraces running across the field. The photos I'm posting show a little bit of that "look", but you might need to see it in person to understand what I'm talking about.
As a reference, at it's steepest part, this field drops about 45-50 feet in around 900 feet which you can almost see in some of the photos, and the horizon in all the photos is level, which might help you imagine the slope of the terraces.
|Going south, drilling wheat along the back of the steepest terrace|
|Heading north, drilling wheat along the back of the same steep terrace|
|Going around the hill, following a terrace near the top of the hill, sorghum-sudangrass in the background|
|Finishing the field at the top of the hill, just in time for the rain|