Wheat Pete's Word, Sept. 26: Banner soybean yields, slow dry down, and one-cut miracle hay


This week’s episode of Wheat Pete’s Word runs nearly coast to coast, with questions from out west, down south, out east, and everywhere in between.

From the on-fire soybean yields in Ontario, to the evergreen crop in Western Canada, to fungicide timing on forage crops, you won’t want to miss Peter Johnson’s answers to this week’s top agronomy questions.

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].


  • Ontario soybean yields are incredible! Reports of field-wide averages of 82 bu/ac average, plots at 97 bu/ac, 100 bu/ac on the yield monitor. Are we teetering on a new record year?
  • 2016 perfect wheat year set a new record of 96.7 bu/ac. 48.3 bu/ac is the previous soybean record — the same jump would be 54.7 bu/ac for soys…can we do it?
  • Corn yields are better than anticipated, but not record setting.
  • Early winter wheat and winter barley is coming up and looking great, but why are those early harvested edible and soy fields not planted yet — GIVE YOUR HEAD A SHAKE, then get planting
  • Western Canada’s slow harvest has many farmers frustrated with a crop that won’t dry down. Hot temps had the early stuff roaring to harvest, but the late planted crop and later maturing crop is way behind and conditions are wet. What’s going on? It won’t dry down, even with glyphosate application, because of the swing from hot and dry to too cold — basically experienced a “killing frost” without a killing frost and the plant shut down. If you stop translocation, glyphosate isn’t going to move and kill the plant. Swath, or Reglone. It’s going to be slow.
  • Rust in forage oats — review: there’s no toxicity. Use a fungicide? Check your pre-harvest interval. For Folicure, for example, it’s six days… but why would you? You need 21 days for the product to even stop what disease is already there. Already at flag leaf? Too late. Spray early to prevent disease, or don’t bother. What about yield loss? 25% likely, possibly more, but no great data out there.
  • Q and A: Authority Supreme 16-months to re-plant to wheat?! Manufacturers says it’s OK.
  • 2, 4-D ahead of wheat? Please don’t. 3% to 6% yield loss (but could be a wreck). Three weeks ahead is probably fine, but there are better products out there with zero risks. Choose those.
  • Canada fleabane control — no amount of spring tillage that will take it out of soybean
  • Wheat after alfalfa, how do I do that? 2 litres of glyphosate to kill the alfalfa, then go back in the spring with another herbicide with decent activity on alfalfa
  • N credit of red clover to winter wheat this fall? …well, the N may not be available that quickly. Better off with corn in the spring (about 30 pounds N)
  • How many plants per sq foot of red clover to get a full credit? Could be as low as one!
  • Plant alfalfa at freeze up and it’ll grow early? It won’t germinate until soil is 5 degrees C. It’ll wait!
  • When do you terminate red clover? The root mass doubles in October — kill it as late as possible. Tougher to control, but you get more band for your buck.
  • A stand in single-cut hay forever on shallow soils gave unbelievable yields in 2018. It’s because of all that water in 2017, perennial forage put down major roots. Spend some money on fertilizer next spring to repeat in 2019!

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