Wheat Pete's Word, June 14: Baffling weather, pedal-to-the-metal corn, and rolling edible beans


From cold and wet, transitioning into too hot and dry, all in just one week in Ontario. How is that possible? RealAg agronomist Peter Johnson is just as baffled when it comes to the weather, as he discusses on this week’s Word.

Peter covers the latest in wheat, soybeans, corn, edible beans, forage management, and has some insect updates as well.

Check out what Wheat Pete has to say in his Word and the summary below!

Your questions and feedback are needed! Leave Peter a message at 1-888-746-3311, send him a tweet (@wheatpete), or email him at [email protected].


  • We were cold, we were wet, things were slow, slow, slow! So slow that in fact it was taking wheat five days to develop anthers. It normally takes two days. Then all of a sudden we got hot and instead of five days, it’s only taking one day for those anthers to show up. Unbelievable!
  • The current weather we are seeing is corn weather – we are having 30 degree days and 22 degree nights in Ontario. That for corn is “pedal to the metal!” When you get weather like that you can put a new leaf on every 3-4 days, and that’s what we are seeing.
  • The wheat crop hates these high temperatures — 30 degree days, 20 degree nights, that is all bad. We are definitely losing some yield potential. The crop is NOT a disaster – we have a very good wheat crop out there but this weather is just causing it to take a one or two bu/ac per day yield potential loss.
  • The high speed winds have also contributed to how quickly the soil has been drying. The wind is just sucking that moisture out!
  • As soybeans are emerging, what we are seeing is that the edges of the cotyledons are browned off, burnt back, and in fact some of the time a full half of that cotyledon can be burnt. We call that the halo effect. Lots of that going on because of cold injury.
  • In corn… they are continuing to do the provincial nitrogen test, and the latest results are in. We continue to be low in nitrogen. If you are side dressing your corn, if you are looking at your standard corn nitrogen rate, we need between 20 and 30 lbs more nitrogen than we would on an average year. We are also seeing sulphur deficiencies in corn.
  • Edible beans… when do I roll them? Don’t see why edibles would be much different than soybeans other than we are loathed to damaged them as we don’t want to get into any variability. So if you roll your edibles after planting, get no rainfall, that’s going to be perfect. Exactly what we want. If you roll your edibles after planting, get a thunderstorm, then they are going to struggle much more to get out of the ground. If that happens, you are best to just replant.
  • Beans need four times their weight in water to germinate. If you are planting right now you have to get well into the moisture. Make sure you are planting deep enough!
  • We are seeing bean leaf beetle feeding on the soybeans as we’ve moved away from neonicotinoids on soybean seed. That’s a bigger issue so get out there and scout, scout, scout!

Listen to previous episodes of the Word here.


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