In this week’s Word, Peter Johnson, resident agronomist for RealAgriculture, examines everything from erosion and weird wheat to cover crop management and insect pests. Have a question for Wheat Pete? Call 1-888-746-3311, send him a tweet (@wheatpete), or email him at [email protected]


  • There are huge amounts of erosion in high tillage zones in Ontario. “We simply have to do better.”
  • Less tillage, more crop rotation, more cover crops — these are things we must strive for.
  • Purple wheat on the knolls — that’s an indication of poor root growth. Try to build up the soil structure in those areas.
  • Manganese deficiency — look for plants turning white. “I think we have to correct it…so get out there and spray.” Shot-gun blast products almost never put on enough manganese.
  • Clover turning brown where ATV or manure spreading occurred — what’s the deal?
  • Ryegrass cover crop unexpectedly living past winter. Get on it early, say experts. Information out of the U.S. suggests 1.5L/ac glyphosate as early as possible. Mike Cowbrough says go in with 2L/ac to be sure.
  • Corn seeded into cereal rye and there’s an allelopathic affect. The shorter the time between the kill of the crop and seeding, the more root disease that shows up.
  • Some interesting research in annual ryegrass and insect pressure.
  • Should soybeans be planted right on top of cover crop row or to the side?
  • Wheat/red clover tends to build slug populations. Check for them before deciding on soybean row width.
  • Black beans tend to have a wimpy root system. No-till can work, but any compaction might cause issues.
  • Weighing the options for closing wheels.

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