Wheat Pete's Word, July 27: Knee-High Tasseling Corn, Emergency Oatlage & 3 Things to Do After Wheat Harvest


The drought continues to take a toll on corn and soybeans with nutrient deficiencies showing up. There’s nothing that can be done about the lack of rain, but there are some management opportunities for future years, explains Peter Johnson on this week’s Word. He also outlines three steps that need to be taken after wheat harvest and discusses insect issues in soybeans and edible beans, among a few other things.

Listen or download below! If you have a question for Wheat Pete, call 1-888-746-3311, send him a tweet (@wheatpete), or email him at [email protected].



Wheat Marketing and Storage

  • Large short positions by funds, maybe not a good time to sell, as they’ll need to sell eventually.
  • Wheat was harvested in hot conditions. It needs to be cooled down.


  • It’s still fiercely dry in many areas. Soybeans and corn in Niagara region are in trouble. East of Toronto, corn is knee-high trying to tassel. It just won’t make a crop in worst-damaged fields.
  • One thing that can be done — map areas of field that are more prone to drought with a drone or by walking the field. Plan to add organic matter (manure, biosolids) to these poor areas.
  • Drought-induced potash deficiency is severe in soybean fields, even in some edible beans. Probably need to apply more.

Three Things You Have to Do After Wheat Harvest

  • Weed control — glyphosate resistant fleabane is becoming a huge issue.
  • Fertility
    • Make sure you’re replacing crop uptake.
    • For example, a three year crop rotation, using approximate nutrient uptake rates:
      • 2014: 200bu corn removed 80lbs of P and 60lbs of K;
      • 2015: 50bu soybeans removed 40lbs of P and 70lbs of K
      • 2016: 100bu wheat removed 60 lbs of P and 40lbs of K, plus straw
      • Over three years: 190lbs of P and 210lbs of K removed
    • Potash can be broadcast (and prices have dropped!)
  • Plant that cover crop. Plant oats now, earlier is better with cover crop. If red clover is thin, plant oats into red clover.

Oats as Emergency Forage

  • 70lbs of seed plus 50-60lbs of N, might get rust that will require fungicide.
  • It will be balage — no expect dry hay.
  • Also consider potash that’s being exported when selling “oatlage.”


  • Cutting won’t stop leafhopper damage. They do most damage when eating little shoots. If at threshold, need to get sprayed within 10 days of cutting.
  • Lots of boron deficiency showing up in alfalfa.

Soybean and Edible Bean Insects

  • Watch for spider mites. Haven’t heard anything about aphids, which is surprising.
  • Watch for tarnished plant bug and western bean cutworm in edibles — look for podfeeding, especially in beans beside corn.

Corn Fungicide

  • Consider proportion of field that’s terrible vs good when looking at VT fungicide app. In good corn you might save 8 to 10 bu/ac. Remember fungicide response when it’s super dry is probably reduced.
  • Low vomi wheat does not equal low vomi corn. If you’ve had enough rain, you should still be managing against fusarium.


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