Wheat Pete's Word, Oct 19: Soybean Plot Results, Plant Green Penalties, & WBC Woes


Hang on and let’s go — it’s time for this week’s episode of Wheat Pete’s Word on RealAgriculture.com!

To start this week, Peter Johnson, resident agronomist and life-long Wild Man, shares a neat stay-awake reminder for all y’all out there harvesting. Bottom line? Stay safe, and let’s get this crop in the bin.

From there, he covers some rather fascinating findings from the first soybean and corn plots coming off (including double crop beans and plant green corn), an alert about western bean cutworm, a reminder on which two weeds are best killed now, and what to do about disease-y winter wheat. (Full summary below the video)


Soybean plot learnings:

  • August rain makes grain
  • Uncontrolled dandelions cost 5 bu/ac! Why? It’s a big water user. No forgiveness in a dry year.
  • What caused a 10 bu/ac loss? Planting ahead of the cold rain, or put in too wet
  • Good news: double crop beans are a money maker. One farmer with early June planted beans (After cereal rye for forage, plus manure) got 51 bu/ac. A July-after-wheat crop went 33.5 bu//ac


  • Going for high moisture corn? It’s drying down super fast becuase of low humidity and high winds. Get out there!
  • Western Bean Cutworm damage is way worse than anticipated. Some scouted fields show 25% affected cobs. It’s an insect we just have to get better at managing for
  • How did those #plantgreen plots yield? Early indications peg the yield penalty at about 10 bu/ac (big discussion on plant green can be heard here)

Cover crops:

  • Got a mat of volunteer wheat? Hear why you must kill it
  • Red clover — when do you give yourself full credit?
  • Red clover — if you spray it to terminate, how long do you wait to plow it?
  • If we get an open fall can we put red clover on ahead of winter? Short answer: nope.


  • Disease alert! Really early wheat is riddled with rust et al. Should you worry? No, as the cool days should wipe out that disease. HOWEVER, keep an eye that the rust doesn’t overwinter.
  • Seeing manganese deficiency on sandy soil? Find out in what situations it needs to be corrected

Fall weed control:

  • Dandelions and perennial sow thistle are best controlled in the fall. How late can we go? Glyphosate works as long as night temps stay above -4 degrees C, and even after a frost, these plants can still be controlled so long as you wait for a few days of warmer weather
  • You can control these even after corn harvest if the temp is right and you can achieve good coverage


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