This week’s Word begins with a Remembrance Day reminder from Peter Johnson, resident agronomist for RealAgriculture and host of this weekly podcast. From there, Wheat Pete gets into everything from ensuring your farm is a safe place to work to winter wheat acres in Ontario to nitrogen credits from working down an alfalfa crop.

Have a question for Wheat Pete? Call 1-888-746-3311, send him a tweet@wheatpete or an email at [email protected]


  • Winter is a good time to ensure all equipment has proper lighting and safety chains. Also, a tip: store duel tires flat on a pallet rather than leaning on a wall where they could fall on someone.
  • Really? Ontario wheat acreage was reported this week at just under 1 million. “I’m astounded. I really expected it to be at 1.2 or 1.3 million,” says Johnson, noting soft white winter wheat acres are up while hard red winter is down. “It’s big, but not as big as it should be from a rotation standpoint.”

  • With the long fall, the wheat crop looks great but too much growth in early-seeded wheat fields is causing mildew and other disease problems. “The way you manage early wheat is with a low seeding rate. No. Fall fungicides don’t help,” says a fired-up Johnson, referring to this Wheat School episode. There will likely be some increased early disease pressure next year.
  • How did late N application work out in corn, specifically comparing Y-drop application versus side-dressing? Peter points out yield results depend on whether rain delivered N to the plants.
  • New alternative corn seed treatment options — which one is best? It’s too early to know, he says.
  • Should a thick red clover stand be clipped to prevent smothering? Depends on whether you’re using it for hay (then yes) or just for plowdown.
  • Should rye be used as a cover crop ahead of soybeans next year if winter wheat will follow the beans? Rye can become a problem in wheat — you don’t want it in your wheat sample, so it will require attention, maybe some roguing.
  • How much N value is there in plowed down alfalfa? Approximately 100lb/ac credit to corn if the stand is two-thirds or more alfalfa, he says.
  • Lastly, how do you control dandelions in strawberries? His name is Wheat Pete, so he’ll have to find out the answer from someone else for a future episode, which should be up next Wednesday.


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