Wheat Pete's Word, Feb 24: Early Wheat Growth and a Smack Across the Head


In this week’s Word, Peter Johnson, resident agronomist for RealAgriculture, covers everything from wheat evolution to fertility, alfalfa agronomy to a rather upsetting article…

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


  • Weather
    • Dave Phillips predicting one of the ten warmest springs on record
    • El Nino in place, strong — it’s going to be warm and dry this spring!
    • Already in southern Alberta, winter wheat is growing.
    • Do we go to higher season corns/hybrids?
    • How cold can it get in southern Alberta, where seeing new growth in winter wheat?
  • An article in the Ontario Farmer has the author suggesting: brown rivers where he grew up are due to no-till, no-till is making the soil anaerobic, and 95% of nutrients that come into a plant originate from the air.
    • “There are so many things that are just not accurate in that article.”
  • Will barley treated with a PGR or glyphosate not brew?
  • Wheat Evolution
    • Our common bread wheat is hexaploid. Durum wheat is tetraploid. Now breeders are going back and making synthetic wheats. Hope to bring in more genetic variability, improved traits.
  • Wheat, Nitrogen and Tillering
    • If you have 0-1 tiller per plant, treat it like late-planted wheat and apply half of your nitrogen as soon as you can drive across the field.
    • If you have 1-3 tillers per plant, all on in one shot is fine. Split is always better, but one shot will be fine.
    • If you have 4 or more tillers per plant, you need to let a few of those stems die back. Hold off on early nitrogen application.
  • Wheat Fertility
    • How do I keep my wheat standing when applying all this fertilizer?
    • Has there ever been any variable rate nitrogen application work on wheat?
    • Do not put second nitrogen application on with high-trampling equipment.
  • Weed Control
    • Going to no-till, will I get reduced weed control if planting after herbicide application?
    • Anything I can do to manage volunteer wheat in summer-seeded alfalfa?

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Other Episodes

Wheat Pete's Word (view all)Season 2 (2016) Episode 44

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