Wheat Pete's Word, Oct 5: European Drills, Fall Weed Control & Put Down the Phone While Driving!


As we roll into October, some later-seeded soybean yields are coming in better than expected, but there are still some disappointing stories where growers in the driest areas aren’t even bothering to harvest their beans. Meanwhile, decisions have to be made for fall weed control and wheat planting as the days get shorter.

Peter Johnson, RealAg agronomist, kicks off this week’s Word with a caution about texting or talking on the phone while driving equipment (wait until you’re parked or on the hands-free before calling the Word hotline!). He also discusses early-seeded cereal yields in the West, the latest soybean results, burndown options, seed-placed P and row spacing for wheat, and fall cover crop management.

Also, after fielding a near record number of calls and emails last week, Peter’s a little disappointed with the follow-up. If you have a question or observation to share, call 1-888-746-3311, send him a tweet (@wheatpete), or email him at [email protected].




  • Don’t text when driving equipment on the road!
  • Be aware!

Early-seeded wheat and barley results in the West

  • One Alberta farmer reporting March-seeded barley yielded 14 tonnes of dry matter per acre. April barley yielded 11-12 tonnes. Early wheat 80 bu/ac at 15.3 protein. April wheat yielded 70 bu/ac and 13.5 protein. Later wheat also ran up against poor harvest weather.

Soybean Yields

  • Getting some better than expected soybean yield results, especially in later season beans.
  • Some IP soybeans are being rejected due to small, shriveled, disease seeds. End up being number 3s or 4s in some cases. A few instances where growers are seeding wheat straight into standing soybeans.

High Moisture Corn

  • Anybody with toxin analysis, let Peter know what you’re seeing.

Weed Burndown

  • Reglone versus Eragon on lamb’s quarters and other weeds.
  • Wheat emerged before burndown — can I use 2,4-D? NO!! Three products can be used in fall after emergence, but not 2,4-D. All work better in warmer temperatures. Don’t wait too long.
  • Quackgrass in silage corn.
  • Winter annual grasses showing up in wheat — two new products registered. More options.

Wheat Seeding

  • Keep pushing seeding rate as we get later
  • Phosphorus with the seed — what’s the bang for your buck on soils with 20ppm vs 80ppm?
  • 5-inch European drills should offer 1 percent yield increase per inch of row width. Canopy faster. Good concept, but need to see evidence of added yield.

New Hay Seedings

  • New forage stand should be able to outcompete annual weeds. Walk away at this point.

Cover Crop Fall Management

  • Huge response from people saying we should include sunflowers in cover crop mix. Aesthetically pleasing, if nothing else!
  • Tillage and oat stem management. Worst case scenario is oats almost go to seed, don’t get harvested, and then it starts to rain.

Be safe. Good luck with the rest of harvest! The Word will be back next Wednesday!

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