Wheat Pete's Word, Oct 30: Wet corn, wetter corn, chickweed, and soil health dividends


There are a few treats out there in among the tricks of this harvest season. Surprisingly, mature corn and decent soybean yields are making some farmers happy as they put the 2019 growing season to bed, but there are plenty of areas still struggling with immature and wet corn and super low soybean yields.

In this week’s Wheat Pete’s Word, host Peter Johnson shares what some are reporting from plots, including a positive yield response in a plant green trial, plus a correction and some fall weed control tips. Listen now, or download for later listening!

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].


  • Hey Ontario farmers, get those wheat acres sent in to Agricorp, please! Deadline is November 8th. And report those soybean yields, too.
  • Big yields coming off of areas where there was rain. Where there wasn’t rain, there is just no crop. For soybeans, some are reporting 15, 18, 20 bushel yields.
  • Late June planted soybeans achieving decent yields. It was all dependent on one or two rains that happened at the right time and the soil.
  • Moving forward, soil water holding capacity (based on organic matter and soil health) will just get more and more important. Getting there means cover crops, good rotation, and other ways to add carbon.
  • 10 per cent yield increase in BMP and plant green plots vs. ‘conventional’ rotation/tillage. But it’s only one year. Was it a soil health difference? Possibly!
  • Soybean row width differences really made an impact this year. When planting late you need to narrow up those rows and crank up those populations!
  • In some areas, white mould kicked the yield down, though, in narrow rows. White mould risk may trump time-of-year when it comes to row width decisions.
  • In a corn yield, hybrid, and population trial: some were so consistent, others had a big differences with population changes.
  • There’s a dog’s breakfast of a corn crop out there right now. Some cobs are black layered in the same cob kernels have not black layered. Filling is likely done, but we’re also not getting black layer. Is it a sugar supply issue? It’s weird.
  • Corn maturity: for the most part, those that planted full season corn in late May are at 28-32 per cent moisture with decent yield which is just about what we’d expect for May-planted corn. Some June-planted corn has shortened up its maturity, but in super-dry areas it’s actually stalled out. A lot of it is 34-36 per cent moisture. Not entirely sure why.
  • Stressed fields, poorer soil health, dry areas where the corn died high up (burned up above the cob) is coming off as Grade 4 corn. 27 per cent moisture, 140 bu/ac.
  • June corn was being combined at 42 per cent moisture (what!!?). That’s crap. But at the elevator they said, Grade 4…  how can that be? Most of it had pollinated by August 1, and August along with September were good months for corn. That’s 60 days of putting starch into the kernel. Most of that corn has a higher test weight than anticipated.
  • Is the corn going to dry down even in wet weather? It’s all about moving moisture from the kernel to the outside air. Moisture starts to move out based on relative humidity (not strictly temperature). You don’t need a frost! 35 per cent moisture and want down to 20 per cent, you will lose moisture quickly once the relatively humidity is below 100 per cent. What we need now is wind to wick away moisture from the cob. Warmth would be welcome, too.
  •  For those frozen out at dent stage, that corn won’t follow these rules. Basically, you’re waiting — possibly until spring.
  • Whoops! Last week said Par 3 has MCPA in it — it’s mecoprop.
  • Note: Simplicity is a Group 2. if you’ve got fleabane it could be resistant. Ugh.
  • Chickweed and other weeds showing up wheat this fall. Spray it out this now? YES. Inifinity or Pixarro
  • Remember when doing fall weed control some products have a 10 month re-crop to soybeans

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Wheat Pete's Word (view all)Season 5 (2019) Episode 8

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