Wheat Pete's Word, Nov. 28: Released corn acres, snow plough downs, and DDGs as fertilizer


He sings, he dances, and he hosts a weekly agronomy podcast — the multi-talented Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson is back for this week’s edition of Wheat Pete’s Word, and we’ve got some major miles to cover on destroying a corn crop effectively.

It’s heartbreaking, of course, but Agricrop is releasing some acres to be destroyed. How do you do it without ending up with a mess in 2019? This week’s Word tackles that, and all your top agronomy questions of the week.

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].


  • We start this week with some sad news for the Ontario wheat community, as J.D. Cameron, the “C” in C & M Seeds and really the major reasons why we have red wheat in Ontario, passed away. Our condolences to his family. He will be missed.
  • Where are all the questions? We don’t want to talk about corn anymore.
  • Plough down snow? The old timers say there’s nutrient in ‘dem flakes. It’s all anecdotal. If the ground is fit, do what you have to do. Drive on!
  • Here we go, yes, we are getting some acres released… 200 bu/ac crop getting destroyed. Watch later
  • IPGC, Alymer opened up the doors and said bring it on down, for $3/bu
  • There are markets out there if you don’t have crop insurance — it’s not a great spot to be in, but there are at least some options. They’re not good options, but they’re options.
  • We’re going to have to watch the DDGS, folks. What about ploughing it in? 1 tonne per acre, you are looking at some P, K, and N, and some organic matter, but you’re going to have to do the math
  • On destroying this crop:  what are the proven methods to eliminate volunteer corn for next year? Well, this is unchartered territory. Ploughing it down? It’ll eliminate some, but not all…
  • Gold standard: forage harvester, smash those kernels…12-14 acres an hour to do a perfect job, but will they go that slow? Make sure they have a diverter head — spread that residue uniformly!
  • Silver or bronze: the combine. Whole cobs will survive, so take the combine out close the sieves and put it all out the back of the combine. Weather should help kill kernels. But, again, residue spread will be key.
  • Pusher bar ahead of a high-speed disc? Somewhat effective but watch for volunteers.
  • What is your plan for planting, if you’re going to soybeans? Whole cobs will wreck havoc.
  • Are you going to pay in herbicide next spring or pay in equipment fuel this fall?
  • The risk of fusarium pathogen in corn crop to next year’s soybean crop is not an issue. (Different pathogen!)
  • Kill those volunteers, y’all — for so many reasons
  • Potatoes following the corn crop, fusarium COULD be an issue. So use a seed treatment.
  • And we wrap with a question from Romania! DAP is much more injurious to the crop than MAP — if you can’t put it in a 2×2 band, then you’re better off applying in the fall.

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