Wheat Pete's Word, June 5: Weevils, weather woes, rootworm strategies and tank-time no-nos


When it rains, it pours — both figuratively and literally, these days. Already stressed and stretched farmers in Ontario are now contending with the beginning of haying and fungicide spraying creeping into the chore list, all while planting is STILL not even started in some areas.

While there’s very little positive news in Ontario, host Peter Johnson decides to look at the upside and starts this early June edition of Wheat Pete’s Word on a high note. The full summary is below, but you’ll hear about weevil numbers building in alfalfa, record short corn acres in the U.S., what tank mix issue is causing grief, why even a written-off wheat crop is going to need attention, and so much more.

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].


  • Let’s start with good news: YES some farmers are done planting and seeding
  • Frost-seeded triticale looks great and is 15″ or 16″ tall. Who would have known it was the very best move?
  • Three days of no rain in southern Ontario meant that farmers finally got to get some fields in this week
  • Strip tillage options in a wet season — if you worked it and then it rained, is it a mess? This year has just been so frustrating as being patient on soil conditions has not necessarily paid off
  • Unplanted corn acres in the U.S. are at historic levels (Read more on that here).
  • Heavy clays are too wet and with the forecast — call in your unseeded acreage by June 15 to Agricorp, Ontario farmers. You have until June 30, yes.
  • ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! Alfalfa weevils may be reaching threshold in some counties. Numbers are climbing and if hay isn’t going down in the next four or so days, a spray may be warranted. Get scouting! Save those leaves
  • Released winter wheat acres might be the only crop a farmer has right now…can you do anything to nurse this crop along? Yes, you can. A great year for variable rate N.
  • Late wheat being kept now, is there a case to control weeds? Well, nope. Management strategy there is a pre-harvest glyphosate instead.
  • Septoria in the wheat crop developing, watch for stripe rust — leaf disease is controlled with aerial, but not fusarium control.
  • 75% of main steams have cleared flag leaf is Day 0. Spray day 2-4 for a fusarium fungicide.
  • When you go to the field, make sure you’re cleaning out the booms as you move between fields — protect that wheat crop!
  • Fusarium risk, DON Cast, spray it!
  • Shorter season soybeans are needed for winter wheat getting in the ground
  • When is it too late to spring seed alfalfa? Never! The earlier the better…even July! Build those root reserves for the first dormancy. There is too late to fall seed, though
  • Corn on corn growers: can’t get the genetics for the traits you want? If you have to seed corn on corn and don’t have rootworm genetics, Greg Stewart with Maizex, says add a little more N to help the plants get through the root feeding damage. And keep your population a hair lower to reduce stress
  • Spraying cereal rye with glyphosate added Boundary and boom! glyphosate stopped working. What happened? Any of the triazines or metribuzin antagonizes the glyphosate and renders it less effective. Can be even worse on annual ryegrass.

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