Wheat Pete's Word, July 4: Most amazing corn crop, an aphid alert, and white mould musts


A scratchy-voiced Peter Johnson needs you to get out there and scout, scout, scout for aphids on soybean. While you’re out in the fields, you also need to check for all sorts of other insects because hot, dry weather is helping creepy-crawlies multiply.

It’s also time to get that first white mould suppression pass on, if said beans are at the R1.5 stage. Not sure what that is? Listen on, friends of Wheat Pete’s Word, because you’ll learn about that plus the value of rain at pollination for corn, an improved aphid app, and, yes, finally, how to get rid of pesky bedstraw in pasture.

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].


  • Hot, dry weather is not being kind to most crops, though the corn is loving the heat (does it have the moisture to sustain this yield potential?)
  • Ontario’s Essex County is the first to start wheat harvest, and, yes, that’s early
  • Corn is going to tassel early — what does that mean for grain fill? If we start the 20th of July, vs the 4th or 5th of August, 60 day grain fill happens in a better part of the year! This is the opposite to the wheat crop, which has been shortened because of the hot hot heat.
  • Dry hay crop looks great
  • Some areas of Ontario are so dry, there’s still corn and  soybean seed sitting in the soil. This happened in 1988, and corn germinated in late July. Could it happen again?
  • Don’t give up on rough corn yet. Rainfall during pollination is the big link to yield, even under stress, but under drought stress at pollination, that’s when the big yield hit comes
  • Thrip injury was severe in some areas and the corn crop was sprayed, and the difference was staggering (removed the additional stress in drought) but didn’t leave a check strip!
  • Seeing loose smut in barley? It happens. You need a good seed treatment, but control is not perfect
  • Alert! Alert! Alert! Soybean aphids are on the move and on the rise. It’s an aphid year. Populations explode seemingly overnight. Scout, scout, scout. Check out the new and improved Aphid Advisor app.
  • White mould timing is R1.5 — and that’s now for the early beans. Second pass happens 2 weeks later
  • Leafhoppers on alfalfa the threshold is very low! Scout.
  • You’re counting wheat heads per square foot, and that pleases Peter. But also remember wheat makes yield with heads, plus kernels, plus test weight.
  • FINALLY, bedstraw management. If you have bedstraw that land has likely been in pasture too long. You can spray it out, but then you’ll need to fertilize with N, as any spray will also kill the legumes. Better to take the stand out, rotate to annual crops for a few years, then start fresh with new seeding out.

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Wheat Pete's Word (view all)Season 4 (2018) Episode 25

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