Wheat Pete's Word, Nov 21: Clover credits, long-term corn storage, and recipes for wheat success


To say it’s been a tough few weeks of harvest for Ontario growers would been an understatement, and Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson has a thrown out a challenge to all — call your neighbour, check in, let them talk or vent their frustration. We’re a community, after all.

On that note, the RealAgriculture has questions that need answered, so don’t worry, Johnson tackles those too in this week’s edition of Wheat Pete’s Word. From determining clover credits, to deciphering hybrid performance data, and on to rotation questions, you won’t want to miss this edition.

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].


  • Still so much harvest to tackle yet. Wet ground. Hard to look forward with enthusiasm.
  • Does your neighbour have a lot of crop out? Call them and commiserate, offer to help, check in. This is our community and we need to take care of each other. Reach out, go for coffee, make those phone calls.
  • Corn performance trials — tough harvest to get these plots off, so hats off to y’all. Hybrid trails are done, except Table 4 (because not yet harvested). Yield? Sure, it’s importatnt, but ask your seed dealer about disease/DON levels, too. Check out more at GoCorn.net.
  • Soybean trails should be up next week
  • Red clover: To get the full N credit for red clover stand, you need as few as 1 plant per square foot. Really? Dr. Bill Deen research show two-thirds of N credit comes form the roots, so less biomass above ground doesn’t always equate to less N. To prove it, think about how single cut never has much top growth, but still adds 90% of what double cut clover does! Check those roots to gauge what you might be getting.
  • Nitrogen release is a mystery wrapped in a riddle, cloaked in secrecy. How do you decide how you anticipate total N release? Great question. Next!
  • Rotation question for Northern Ontario: Canola, barley, then oats….can you do this? He’s concerned about take-all risk to oats (two cereals in a row) P.S. Canola is NOT a legume, he means a broadleaf crop.
  • Worried about late wheat — can I get a jump in the spring? Well, first off, grow shorter season beans. But, if you want to help a late planted crop: early N, single cut clover, and control early weeds. Then, wait and see.
  • Tillage tips: can the chisel plow work? Could if you’ve got sweep teeth and a good harrow. Everything is a trade-off. Watch those ridges.
  • Strip-tillage going this fall looks good.
  • Markets are developing and corn is working through the system. Prices aren’t great, of course.
  • Higher DON corn + storage, on-farm. Do I keep it? Well, you can keep it….but you might have to sit on it a while, AND like keeping any crop in storage, it won’t get better. Make sure it’s dry, core the bin. DON will stop growing/developing below 18% moisture and 7 degrees C.
  • Grain Farmers of Ontario is buying grain bags to get it out of the field. Click here for more on that pilot project.

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