Wheat Pete's Word, Nov 4 — Mother Nature's Generosity and Die-Hard Ground Beaters


In this week‘s episode of Wheat Pete’s Word, Peter Johnson, resident agronomist for RealAgriculture and host of this weekly podcast, starts off by talking about RealAgriculture. Then, as always, Johnson provides an update on crop conditions in Ontario. He also responds to a whole lot of feedback, rants on tillage and marvels about this year’s forgiving fall.

Have a question for Wheat Pete? Call 1-888-746-3311 or send him a tweet@wheatpete.

The Highlights

Crop Update

  • Ontario’s corn is coming off at moistures as low as 13.8%, with some heading straight to the elevator. Johnson talks about the fast drydown this fall. Low humidity, respectable temperatures saw moisture levels drop at least 3 points per week.
  • Where are all of these big yields coming from? Johnson talks about the weather conditions in August and how hot is “hot enough” to hurt corn yield.
  • Dealing with cover crops – some producers are spraying cover crops, others are harvesting them. Johnson updates us on options for cover crop removal, and provides a note from Penn State University on improving winter survivability of annual ryegrass.
  • Winter wheat seeded mid-September has already seen 400 growing degree days, a 225 headstart on winter wheat seeded only two weeks later. Have you scouted yours? Should you be worried about all those tillers? Johnson explains.


  • What is RealAgriculture? Johnson explains. (You can find out more at our “About” page.
  • One caller says molybdenum didn’t show up at all in a soil analysis. Should they worry?
  • What about residue intercepting spring herbicide applications? Should we consider tilling?
  • A shout-out to Authority, and why Atrazine isn’t registered on soybeans.
  • And, on the neonicotinoid special edition – the Integrated Pest Management course required on and after August 31, 2016 by farmers hoping to use neonic-treated seed thereafter is separate from the Grower Pesticide Safety Course.
  • Oh, and let’s not forget this week’s rant on tillage…

“Why, why, why — what — WHY are you out there moldboard plowing and disc ripping and deep discing?  Man! I can not get over all the soybean stubble that is being tilled! For goodness sakes, there’s no research that would say that you need to do that. I know there’s a push towards more tillage. I find it really, really bizarre that we have this big uptake on cover crops because we all want to be better stewards of the soil, and then we’re going out there being die-hard ground beaters…”

Wheat School: Giving Residue Management the Attention It Needs
Unexpected Injury — The Impact of Herbicide Carry Over on Cover Crops
Tillage Options For Red Clover and Other Cover Crops

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Other Episodes

Wheat Pete's Word (view all)Season 1 (2015) Episode 8

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