Wheat Pete's Word, Sept 21: Drought Tolerance Comparisons, the Cost of Delaying Wheat Planting & Diplo-what?


It’s late September, the days are warm, and the combines are starting to roll into the edible beans and soybeans. Corn silage harvest has also started and that means we kick off this week’s Wheat Pete’s Word with a reminder and a plead — stay safe and use those lights!

From there, we head into a more in-depth harvest update, including which of the edible beans are proving more or less drought tolerant. The first soybean harvest numbers are rolling in and it ain’t pretty, but Peter Johnson, RealAgriculture’s agronomist, says there’s one key equipment adjustment you need to make to ensure you’re actually reaching maximum yields.

Listen to this weekly update below, and learn more about some simple math on whether or not it’s worth moving equipment to get wheat planted, when hiring a custom operator makes cents (get it?), and also learn a little about what the heck diplodia is. All that and more in this week’s Word:




  • Ground conditions are good. Roll on!
  • Corn silage quality is good, yields are average.
  • Kidney and cranberry beans didn’t fare so well in the drought
  • Soybean yields are reported as a low of 17 bu/ac to a high of 66 bu/acre and getting better
  • Is your soybean header costing you yield? Losing 4 beans/sq. ft equals one bu acre loss!
  • U.S. harvest is on-going with some solid yields and quality. The I states are dealing with diplodia …what is it?


  • A growing day in September means so much more than a day in October. The planter/drill should be following the combine as soon as possible. Quick math: a 7 day delay in planting wheat = a bushel per acre per day loss, so 7 bu/ac on 120 acres, at $5 bu =$4,200 loss. Get the equipment moved, ready, or hire it out!
  • Remember to plant one-inch to one-inch-and-a-quarter deep
  • No 2,4-D on emerged wheat in the fall! And even just ahead it can be bad on certain soils or if the weather works against you. MCPA is much safer, if you must

Cover crops:

  • Oats are two-feet tall, stemmy, and coming into head. What do you do? Wheat Pete goes over your options.
  • Rust-buster oats, are there any? Any variety with the AAC prefix have come out of the Ag Canada breeding program and have good tolerance to rush (AAC Bullet, Almonte, Pontiac). Look for 0 or 1 ratings
Squiggly lines or stern words? Keeping the crows away. Photo credit: Gregory Sekulic
Squiggly lines or stern words? Keeping the crows away. Photo credit: Gregory Sekulic


  • Round bales getting pecked at by crows? There are three things you can do…one of which Wheat Pete wants you to try
  • Seeding rates — how high can you go for weed suppression?
  • Elemental sulphur — can you speed up availability if you mix it with manure?

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

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