Wheat Pete's Word, Dec 19: Budgeting for bins, manure no-gos, and phosphorus dynamics


As 2018 winds down, so does Ontario’s corn and bean harvest — finally.

It’s been a trying harvest across much of Canada, and more than a few weary farmers are absolutely relieved to finally be able to park the combine for a another year.

But just because harvest is finally done doesn’t mean the field work or the corresponding agronomy questions stop. For this final Wheat Pete’s Word of the year, host Peter Johnson tackles some timely tips for manure spreading, late planting, and tough calls on winter wheat.

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  • Build the darn bins! Giving up IP premiums on soybeans? Storage could pay for itself in one year. Get that pencil sharp and work the figures and see what you come up with.
  • Cereal rye still works, even now. Well, it depends on where you are in the province.
  • It’s late in the year and the ground maybe isn’t frozen yet… should you spread manure? Keep the manure in the pit UNLESS you can incorporate it. The phosphorus in the manure is just waiting to move into waterways if manure is left on the surface. Too frozen to incorporate? No spreading.
  • OK, so if manure is a no-go what about other fertilizer? Same rules apply. You’ll lose nutrients, and that makes bad economic AND environmental sense.
  • Hear about profit comparisons of the full fertility package vs. rotation and cover crop only, and how phosphorus dynamics impact in soil test findings. You can increase P availability with soil improvement!
  • Let’s talk about nutrient exporting. 112 railway cars full of wheat, 100,000 pounds of phosphorus leaving Canada. (Hear more on phosphorus exports as grain with Dwayne Beck here).
  • Liquid vs dry N, is there a difference? Maybe a bushel to one-and-a-half bushel per acre. Not significant.
  • Ugh, the corn crop. Where are we at? About 1% of acres have been released for destruction, but very few actually have been destroyed. Why? Because there are markets developing for this corn. Some bites at $3.50 bu now.
  • DON and roasting: DON is not eliminated by roasting, but roasting will eliminate some other toxins.
  • DDGS: Should I be putting corn on corn and loading on the DDGS? 1 tonne of DDGS is about  90N, 40P, 30K 13S. Treat it like chicken litter. 1-2 tonne/acre at the most.


Merry Christmas to you all, and Wheat Pete’s Word will be back in January!

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