Wheat Pete's Word, July 18: Fungicide in a dry year, the price of straw, and protecting fresh silk


A week of spotty rain has some farmers singing and others moaning, as this challenging growing season marches into mid-summer.

The questions for host Peter Johnson continue to roll in, and this week’s episode of Wheat Pete’s Word covers it all from plot results, to fungicide questions, to a correction, and on to grain storage how-tos (a full summary is below).

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].


  • Rain was all over the map this last week — and some areas got almost none, and others got FIVE inches. Not fair, Ma Nature, not fair.
  • Where are the plot results? Send them in!
  • The plot results we do have: two fusarium fungicide passes made for an extra 6 bushels per acre of wheat, even in this super dry year. Also one farmer got 15 bu/ac advantage for using starter phosphorus vs none.
  • A quick correction: yes, dimethoate kills spider mites in soybeans,  it’s Matador (or generic versions) that does not. Sorry, y’all.
  • Wheat straw is dandy in Prince Edward County. What’s the value of straw? Huge range — 3 cents up to 10 cents a pound in the windrow. WHAT? All depends on supply and demand.
  • Green kernels in the grain sample? You CAN wait, but that’s not ideal (if at reasonable moisture). Combine it when you can, get it in the bin, green kernels will disappear, too
  • Western bean cutworm update: scout! Even if numbers are low. They need fresh silks to have an impact on yield, so no point in spraying without silks present
  • Giberella: make sure you’re timing an application for maximum efficiency (more here)
  • Soybeans aborting flowers under hot dry weather? We need data! Send it along if you have
  • If you’re applying manganese to correct a deficiency you need two pounds an acre, so make sure you’re addressing the deficiency. If that’s what you’re short of, make sure you’re applying enough (check those analyses!)
  • Cover crops falling down soil cracks? Just wasting seed. Don’t, please.
  • Drying wheat — should I try at day or night? Under 70% relative humidity is the key (and it goes up at night!) Don’t waste that propane! Turn the fan on with lower humidity.

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