Wheat Pete's Word, June 20: Wild weather, yellow corn causes, and seed size surprises


This week’s episode of Wheat Pete’s Word is full of alliterations and maybe, just maybe, a little serving of humble pie.

We start this week talking wild weather, wheat woes and wonder, then move on to skimpy seeds and yellow ycorn (Editor’s note: Sorry, I tried). Host Peter Johnson tackles what to do or not do on a hail damaged crop, covers nitrogen application considerations, plus reminds all y’all to get out there and dig up yellowed corn plants to check roots. And that serving of humble pie? Listen on to hear it!

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].


  • Oh, hail no. But yes, unfortunately with hot weather comes wild weather and farmers in both western and eastern Canada are dealing with the aftermath of hail and wind storms
  • Could we put in an order for more equitable distribution of rainfall across Ontario, please?
  • It feels like #plant18 is never going to end. Some farmers have been planting soybeans for 3 weeks. Farmers just can’t catch a break in the Niagara Peninsula
  • Hail damage on wheat — you’d be amazed at how kernels compensate for missing kernels knocked out by hail.Will disease be an issue? Likely only alternaria, and it’ll leave your combine covered in gross black spores, but not much of yield problem (see below for the tweet of the week)
  • Sheared off soybeans at ground level? That’s a re-plant. Corn can weather it far better and should be fine
  • High temps and high wind can be really hard on wheat. Severe moisture stress at kernel fill with these super high temps and it just gives up. It’s going to impact yield, unfortunately.
  • Wheat as a cover crop (planted but not harvested) can still have a huge positive impact on soil water filtration capacity
  • 68% seed survival on wheat — is that bad? Well, a farmer ended up with 27 plants per square foot. Should still get 60 stems per square foot.
  • Seed size matters, but smaller soybeans are actually more vigorous than large seeds. What? They have a lower chance of seed damage at harvest, and the bigger the seed the bigger the cotyledons and that can make emergence harder under a crust. Bigger seed will have more energy, though, so could be an advantage planted deep
  • Corn seed held over from last year, does it lose vigour? It will lose a little germination and a little vigour, but the companies do test to make sure it’s still acceptable
  • Question on the provincial soil nitrate survey: sure, it was average, but it’s such a large area, since when can we give one recommendation? Johnson responds.
  • Yellow corn? It could be a sulphur deficiency. Below 2% OM, could be manganese or magnesium, too. Check those roots!

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