Wheat Pete's Word, June 19: N top ups, sunshine, controlling big weeds, and BYDV


While Ontario struggles to dry out, the lucky ones in Western Canada are rejoicing in some meaningful rainfall. It’s been a week of planting, watching weeds grow, and haying in some parts of Ontario, too.

What does a little rain mean for Western Canada? Possibly more nitrogen. What do cool temperatures mean for corn in Ontario? Also, possibly more nitrogen. Host Peter Johnson is talking N needs, big weeds, and aphid invasions in this Wheat Pete’s Word. (Summary is below the player!)

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].


  • Check out what we’re learning about contour drainage in Ontario (here).
  • Spotty, spotty, slow progress on #plant19 in Ontario.
  • Other areas that missed the rain or are on lighter land, managed to get some crop in the ground.
  • Major rain events have ended the planting season for many, unfortunately.
  • Will wheat be the big winner in this cool season? Well, wait a minute now. Cool temperatures might be good for wheat, but we need SUNSHINE to get this crop to mature and move forward. Critical stress points: head formation (4-5 leaf stage), anthesis/heading/pollination and the following 2 weeks, determines seed set in the head. We need the sunshine now to entice that head to set kernel count way up there.
  • Even the strawberry crop may be impacted by the lack of sunshine.
  • Early planted corn is setting the ear now, roughly (4-5 leaf stage), there’s purpling and some rough looking corn.
  • Crop insurance: unseeded acreage benefit. What if you have rented land and you’re not going to get a crop in? Do you pay land rent? Well, you better talk to your landlord. We’re past the corn planting deadline, but you can plant silage! It won’t be insured, but you’ll get silage and unseeded acreage benefit.
  • Soybean deadline has moved to June 25 and then to July 5 – IF you choose. You CAN plant to July 5 with coverage (depending on the area).
  • Nitrogen action in a cool year — trying to make wheat lodge in PGR trial 100 pound N app looks like maybe it doesn’t have enough. What’s happening? Soil release has been so low, consistently wet, maybe even some N loss, but it sure hasn’t been available.
  • The early indication is we are 40 pounds less N. Gosh, we’re a little behind. You may need to add more, go to GoCorn.net and plunk in your numbers to see.
  • Staying with N needs, for those fortunate enough to have received some rain in Western Canada: if you dialled N back at seeding, you may need to add it for increased yield potential. 2.25 to 2.5 pounds of N per bushel of wheat in Western Canada.
  • Late June dicamba applications on Xtend soybeans. Inversions or high wind situations are all bad. Be incredibly careful whenever you use a dicamba product (whether or not its on Xtend beans).
  • Big weeds? Contact spray: WATER is the name of the game. Coverage is so important
  • Question: pre-emerge control in processing peas? Unfortunately, in a corn/wheat/processing pea rotation, things like  Canada thistle and perennial sowthistle need to be controlled in the non-pea years. Here’s an idea: go corn, peas, wheat, because you’ll get amazing wheat following a pea crop. 🙂
  • Soybean yield loss as we move through June: 40 bushel yield potential on June 1 planting date, you’ll lose about 1/3 of a bushel per acre per day. So, July 1 equals about 30 bushels/acre as a realistic target. Loss potential accelerates towards mid-July. Push that seeding rate! You need those nodes for yield and each plant makes fewer after June 1.
  • Rolling beans at 3rd trifoliate in the morning…..NO! 1st and 2nd is ok, 3rd is too late, and wait until after lunch when they’re pliable
  • Aphids are everywhere! Don’t worry about them in hay too much. Do you have little alligators? (baby ladybugs)
  • But …ALERT! in spring cereals. They transmit barley yellow dwarf virus, 10-12 per stem is the threshold.
  • Can you plant cereal rye in the fall and harvest for straw in the spring? Yup, 10 days after heading, terminate and cut for straw.
  • Emergency forage! Silage corn. DO IT. Lyndsey did, and it worked. So there.

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