Wheat Pete's Word, Mar 13: Dig that wheat, clover tips, fat soys, and questions from NoDak, Ohio, PEI and the Prairies


Where is wheat number one? Do you have a planter plate that’s going to work for soys (maybe not!)? Plus, do you know which spring-seeded cereal gets the biggest bump from early planting?

If you’re looking for the answers to these questions and so much more, you don’t want to miss this week’s Wheat Pete’s Word! Host Peter Johnson tackles questions from Ohio, to Saskatchewan, to North Dakota, and PEI in this episode of the Word. Take a listen, then get shovelling that winter wheat!

Have a question you’d like Johnson to address? Or some yield results to send in? Disagree with something he’s said? Leave him a message at 1-888-746-3311, send him a tweet (@wheatpete), or email him at [email protected].


  • Some sad news to start the week, as we learn of the passing of University of Guelph’s wheat breeder, Dr. Alireza Navabi. Our condolences to his family, students, and colleagues.
  • Want to go to Wheat School? It’s always great to hear from listeners and viewers. If you want to go to Wheat School, too, check out the free video series here.
  • Johnson just returned from North Dakota where wheat is the number one crop! What a difference! But someone wanted to grow wheat on wheat, um, no.
  • Question out of Ohio: is the wheat still alive this time of year? Listeners are also sending in pictures from Quebec with 5″ of ice frozen right to the ground. Is that wheat going to make it? How do you tell? Dig ’em up! Warm up some plants and give it some time, you’re  looking for new growth, not green leaves. Anything with a white, mushy middle is likely dead.
  • Questions on clover: considerations for single cut red clover vs. double cut, if you should mix in other cover crops, and whether or not to put insurance on it.
  • Last Saturday was a good day to spread clover in Ontario— or was it? Should you go if there’s rain in the forecast?
  • A farmer in the Palliser Triangle (a very dry region of the Prairies) wants to know if putting phos on his hay crop just before the snow goes is a good idea. While phos on snow in very dry areas is not likely to move to water ways, the snowmelt will move the phos where ever the water goes, so, agronomically, you’re going to get movement to even minor depressions in the field. You’ll  end up with a one-foot circle with far too much. So just wait.
  • Barley question out of North Dakota. Is it better to seed barley before the wheat goes in?  Spring wheat responds to early seeding better than any other cereal crop, but all of them like early, but spring wheat is the biggest bang from the buck. That said, if you’re getting a premium for the barley, the economics might shake out to put barley in first. There may even be varietal differences as well.  But typically the biggest response goes: wheat, barley, then oats
  • Nitrogen rates on barley: if you’ve got a  lodge-prone variety, what’s the best rate? Well, economically, 90 pounds of N is about right, that’s what the data shows, but what you apply really depends on field history (manure will have added background N). Split application is your management tool, here.
  • PEI question: tissue tests that came in with super low copper last year, am I losing yield? Well, you first need  to do a little comparison from poor and good areas and do a soil test to really compare (we just don’t have good enough reference numbers to consult). For goodness sake, do some test strips, and take them to yield
  • Related question out of Manitoba: Is anyone tank-mixing copper with Manipulator at growth stage 32? There are UK labels that have copper products on label to tank mix, but caution there is an increase potential for leaf burn.
  • Paul Hermans out of eastern Ontario warns, last year’s big yield came from  BIG fat soybean seeds. Pay attention and make sure that your plate is able to handle these chubby seeds
  • Can you have too much down pressure? Listen on!

Tweet of the Week

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 5 (2019) Episode 40

Please register to read and comment.


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