Wheat Pete's Word, Nov 16: Root Masses, Crop Diagnostics, & Measuring Soil Health


We kick off this week’s Wheat Pete’s Word with running diagnostics on the #plantgreen corn for 2016 to try and figure out all that went right, and what went wrong. Plus, a reminder about registering for the South-West Ag Conference happening in early January (even Lyndsey Smith is speaking!), as this event sells out each year and this year the pace of registration is double of previous years.

From there Peter Johnson, resident agronomist for RealAgriculture, tackles cautions on double crop soybeans for certain soil types, a discussion on cover crop selection tips, plus some clarification on grain drying in warm weather.

And we end this week’s episode with a special tribute to a long-term agronomist we lost this past week — and a reminder to make the most of each day.

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


Corn/Plant Green:

  • Peter expands on what may have happened with #plantgreen in 2016 to cause a 25 bu/ac yield loss
  • What, exactly, is bio-strip tillage? What species work?
  • Is 15″ spacing enough to avoid the “green competition” problem when growing corn?

Soil Health:

  • What IS soil health? How do we measure it? Is there a test?
  • Yield is one of the biggest indicators.

Spring Cereals:

  • Red clover failed under-seeded to wheat in the summer of 2016. So, a farmer put in an oat/pea/radish cover crop he’s since sprayed out. Is frost seeding oats a good idea if he uses treated seeds and plans to use a fungicide?
  • Cereal rye — how long do you wait from termination to get the oat crop in?


  • Some of the crop is going backwards. What gives? Get out there and check seeding depth (plus why that’s so important)


  • When drying grain, should I worry about these warm days and cool nights? Will I get the wet bottle effect (sweat) if I turn the fans on at the wrong time? Remember: grain should only be about 10 degrees off of ambient air temp to avoid major moisture migration. Get a humidistat!

Soil testing: 

Until next week, stay safe out there!

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