Wheat Pete's Word, August 23: Wheat yield positivity, weed control, and planting management


Wheat! Yeeehaaaw! RealAg Agronomist Peter Johnson is so happy to be talking about his favourite crop in this weeks episode of Wheat Pete’s Word.

He talks about the excellent yields he’s been hearing, along with some good stories with it.

Johnson brings up some good thoughts about planting management as we are coming up to that time of the year, as well as alfalfa seeding dates, weed control, and more.

Listen here, and read some of the highlights below:

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


  • Amazing! We are going to make the second highest wheat yield on record in the province the way it looks right now. The big question is whether or not we will break into the 90 bu/ac range. Now remember – the previous record before last year (2016) was 85.5 bu/ac. Then we spent a whole lot of years down around 80 bu/ac, or 81, somewhere in that range. And then last year, 2016, wow! 96.7 bu/acre. Really phenomenal! This year to date, with about a third of the yields in, we are 8 per cent above long term average. It’s running right close to 90 bu/acre. Do not forget that August 31st/September 1st is the deadline to report your winter wheat yields into Agricorp. Make sure you get that job done!
  • The provincial trials are up. Go to www.gocereals.ca – that’s where you can find all the information. It’s still draft form but it will be finalized here very soon.
  • The number one complaint on winter wheat this year is lodging. Guys are just whining and griping about having to scrape wheat off the ground. Yes – standabillity – we don’t want the wheat to lodge. It’s so bad that growers that had wheat that have been growing the same variety for 5 years, and never lodged before, in 2016 it lodges and they aren’t going to grow that variety again. What’s really interesting is in the provincial performance trials – there is almost no lodging! How can that be? You know the difference – just how the system works. We never get the performance trials planted early. It’s too bad we don’t. We should probably do an early planted trial, and a late planted trial to see the difference. But when you plant wheat early, you increase the lodging potential!
  • Look at stripe rust. It has become a common enough occurrence in Ontario that you can’t ignore it. If you see the variety that you are going to grow, or are considering growing, and it is greater than a 2 for stripe rust – then you plan on a two fungicide program. And next spring, if you hear the word stripe rust in Ontario, then you are ready for the fungicide, it’s in the shed, you get out there and you spray it! Stripe rust has become one of the things you have to add into your variety selection.
  • If you’ve got shrivelled wheat kernels – it’s not frost damage, because with frost damage, you’d get no kernel. But you have arrested seed development somehow, you’ve stopped the grain fill, and you end up with shrivelled kernels, and the photosynthate has then gone into that stalk.
  • You want high yielding wheat? Wondering why we’ve gotten the second highest yielding wheat in 2017? Because we planted early in 2016. Sometimes it’s about going back to the basics. You have to start in a good rotation. You have to plant on time. You’ve got to get your seed depth right. All of those things are the foundation for a good crop.

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