Wheat Pete's Word, May 15: Magic numbers for corn, sinking forage quality, and poop-covered beetles


Spring is off to a roaring start in some areas — for some it’s the roar of a hot, dry wind (hey, Prairies!) and for others it’s the roar of nearly seven inches of rain that fell in two events over a week in southern Ontario.

This mid-May edition of Wheat Pete’s Word is a dandy, and host Peter Johnson barely takes a breath in between questions on two-pass fungicide timing, product antagonism, beetle scouting, the order of go for 28%, and much, much more. (Summary of the show continues after the player.)

Have a question you’d like Johnson to address? Or some yield results to send in? Leave him a message at 1-888-746-3311, send him a tweet (@wheatpete), or email him at [email protected]


  • From disastrous flooding in B.C. to tinder-dry conditions across much of the Prairies, this spring planting season has something for everyone. For those in Ontario who pushed the corn window just a little, a timely rain would help, but some areas, such as near Clinton, are dry, dry, dry.
  • Why does the number 150 matter to corn emergence?
  • A reminder: Johnson covers crop updates from across a gigantic area. When he talks crop staging, remember that some spots will be way ahead (or behind) your own crop. And crop staging matters!
  • Winter canola is in full flower in Ontario. How neat is that?
  • A caution about cereal rye: when cutting for dairy feed, be sure to cut it just before or at the very early flag leaf stage. That will make milk, and cereal rye can make a tremendous amount of forage, but the quality drops like a stone after flag leaf, even just four days after flag and it’s dry cow feed
  • If we may be so bold to suggest you gotta shake those jugs of eNtrench, as the product does settle out in solution. Also, it doesn’t play super nice with some products (Integrity or Eragon), so perhaps use them in separate passes
  • For those aiming for a two-pass fungicide system on wheat, when do you time the first pass? It depends on if you have “early” or “late” wheat and where you farm in Ontario (Arthur’s early is different than London’s early, if you know what we mean)
  • If you are heading across the wheat field with any herbicide, watch for the flag leaf. Which also begs the question, what weeds are you targeting at this point? Winter annuals are past controlling, and a strong wheat crop will outcompete annuals…a thin or sparse wheat crop may be a different story, however
  • Should you put fungicide on before or after 28-0-0 going on now/soon? Wheat Pete says “Fungicides are protective and move slow; early/first is better
Cereal leaf beetle threshold is one beetle per stem
  • Get out and scout, scout, scout! Earlier this week Wheat Pete was in a field in Oxford County and found cereal leaf beetle (the poop-covered beetle!) almost at threshold (1 beetle per stem)
  • Do you know what physiological leaf spot or fleck is? It’s not a disease, it’s a deficiency, and there’s an easy way to tell the difference
  • There have been reports of powdery mildew in wheat where humidity has been high

Missed last week’s podcast? Find it here.


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