Wheat Pete's Word, August 3: Early Corn Silage, Spider Mites and Fertility After Alfalfa


There are still many areas in Ontario that are dealing with drought and high temperatures during grain-fill. Peter Johnson, resident agronomist at RealAgriculture, and host of the Word talks about some of the options for managing through a drought, with a particular focus on harvesting corn silage early. Johnson also covers insects to scout for, corn fungicides, manure management and more.

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].


Managing Through Drought

  • Early corn silage:
    • Watch moisture because the stalk will always be juicier and it’s the majority of the yield.
    • If you get a rainfall before you harvest, watch the nitrates! Silogas kills.
    • Plant another forage immediately, so when it does rain, you can make some forage (too late for Sorghum-Sudan).
    • Tips for seeding oats or winter wheat after corn (beware herbicide residual and fusarium risk, respectively).
  •  Fleabane in released soybeans
    • Herbicides are very unlikely to do the job if it’s already making seed.

Nutrients and Soil Fertility

  • Alfalfa hay removes 15lbs of phosphorous and 60lbs of potash per dry tonne (metric ton) of production.
  • Beef manure with high straw content puts on 7lbs of phosphorous and 16lbs of potash. Dairy manure runs around 3lbs phosphorous, 11lbs potash.
  • These are average. Agronomy Guide – Publication 811 has more info.

A summary of nutrient removal by crop, by Peter Johnson:


  • Some soybean fields without neonicotinoid seed treatments seeing some aphid pressure. Infrequent and sporadic.
  • Spider mites really starting to ramp up along edges of soybean fields.
  • Western bean cutworm eggs in edible beans. Get scouting asap!

Corn Fungicides

  • Is there an advantage to putting drop-pipes on the sprayer and sideways nozzles to spray down into the canopy? Not like wheat at all, you can spray over the top with corn and get just as good results.

Agricorp and Red Clover

  • Agricorp has changed their policy — they’re allowing us to no-till oats into red clover and they will assess it in September. Don’t rip it up!


  • Will I lose a lot of nitrogen to these high temperatures? Yes. Broiler is the worst for this, followed by hog, dairy, then beef manure. It’s about levels of ammonia and ammonium in manure.

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Wheat Pete's Word (view all)Season 2 (2016) Episode 21

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