Wheat Pete's Word, Sept 19: Surprising soy yields, sprouting corn, plus hay and more hay


Harvest is rolling, rolling, rolling, and the rush is on perhaps more than most years as the Ontario crop is rushing towards dry and even too-dry at an incredible rate.

In this week’s Wheat Pete’s Word, host Peter Johnson rounds up some pretty impressive soybean and dry bean yields, while silage yields disappoint, though that’s not surprising. This week’s episode also covers several hay questions, seeding set-up advice, and more.

Listen or download below! And of course, if you have a question for Wheat Pete, call 1-888-746-3311, send him a tweet (@wheatpete), or email him at [email protected].


  • Ontario is about 170  heat units ahead of average, so farmers are hard at silage — it’s drying down fast. Make sure you test and then test again, as we’re seeing a 1%  drop in moisture per day
  • Edible beans and soybeans are coming off the field with incredible yields. Pete is hearing 70 bu/ac field averages, and plots coming off at 75 bu/ac. Edible beans are coming off at 36 100 -weight and higher! (One farmer reported 72bu/acre edible beans)
  • But moisture is dropping fast — 18% is ideal with edibles, and 16% is sneaking up on some farmers, leading to more cracks
  • Silage yields are mediocre, as expected, but the bigger concern is gibberella — especially in the London area, and that will impact feed value. Test for mycotoxin levels (send in your reports, please)
  • Even in “clean” fields, some are reporting sprouted seed in the cob. Yup, that’s gib too. Get in the field and get harvesting! (watch a Corn School on the topic here)
  • Winter barley seed is sold out. Times change! Get it in the ground early and it’ll yield well
  • Hay harvest is going full throttle. But we’re into the critical harvest period, so if hay isn’t cut yet, you’re stealing from 1st cut (if you need the feed, take it, of course). But make sure you replace the potash this fall to give the crop the best shot to survive the winter
  • Questions: RR Alfalfa, should you spray it every fall as a maintenance practice? If you’ve got the weeds coming in, such as dandelion, take a look at the crop first. In a two or three-year stand, you shouldn’t need to spray if you feed the crop to compete. If it’s taken as haylage, hey, weeds have feed value, too.
  • Thin, weedy alfalfa fields — can I do anything this fall. Metribuzin is registered, the trouble is you have to cut, get the hay out of the field immediately, and then spray. But you will really lower your volume next year. Not sure it’s worth it.
  • Do foxtail and crabgrass have feed value? It’s been a big year for both. There is some feed value there, if taken as hay, but the more mature, the less feed value. Don’t let it make seed.
  • Field efficiency, MAP, seeds per acre and the drill: Wheat Pete talks through a set up (vs. last week’s question)
  • A farmer has moved from fall to spring N application and now averages lower yields. Is it the N? If you’ve got low phosphorus soil test on a heavy clay, that could be what’s yield-limiting. You can get up to 35 bu/ac yield response by seed-placed phosphorus rates. It’s not likely the N.
  • MAP vs. MEZ. What’s the trade-off? Remember sulphur availability
  • Risks for wheat on wheat, if the planting window is closing? Remember take-all, and frost heave
  • Rust on forage oat — is it a risk for pasturing? Nope, no toxicity issues, but next time choose a resistant variety, or use a fungicide, because if will have reduce feed value

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Subscribe to our daily newsletters to keep you up-to-date with our latest coverage every morning.

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Other Episodes

Wheat Pete's Word (view all)Season 4 (2018) Episode 14

Please register to read and comment.


Register for a RealAgriculture account to manage your Shortcut menu instead of the default.