Wheat Pete's Word, Dec. 18: Cornsicle bins, performance trials, N tie up, and a Merry Christmas


It’s December 18th, have you checked your corn bins lately?

Host of Wheat Pete’s Word, Peter Johnson has more than a few public service announcements this week, and one of them is all about high moisture corn turning into big blocks of ice (and, conversely, yucky heated hot spots) in the bin. But before we get to the corn crop and cover crop questions that streamed in this week, Johnson has another message: take the time to enjoy the slower pace of the holidays and make sure to check in on your neighbours.

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].


  • ‘Tis the season to focus on what matters: time with family and friends. And in that spirit, Wheat Pete’s Word will not run for the next two weeks as Pete and the RealAg team take some time off.
  • Let’s put the 2019 year to bed, sure, but remember that the crop will still be there in March. Do your neighbour still have crop out? Stop in, pick up the phone, check in on each other. Make sure everyone is OK and that we all have a wonderful holiday season.
  • Oh, OK, let’s talk about the standing corn crop. Ice still an issue in eastern Canada, as is snow in many areas. Not a lot of combining happening…
  • Provincial corn trial results are in and up at GoCorn.net. Gibberella and DON accumulation was tested for but not sure we’ll see data or not.
  • StatsCan estimates corn crop for 2019 at 158.4 bu/ac. Is that low? (for what got harvested)
  • Mould is showing up in the corn crop. What?! Isn’t it too cold? It’s Cladiosporium. The good news is, it doesn’t create toxin like gibberella. It’ll blow off in the spring. The only issue is if it lives on the kernel and could use starch, reducing test weight.
  • Test shank integrity and stalk strength before you decide to leave the corn out. Some crops could drop cobs or lodge so bad it is worth going in now. Leaving it out means you’ll still have to dry it a few points. Make sure you consider compaction risk when you decide to go.
  • Some farmers are seeing a lot of lodging corn and are surprised by it. It all comes down to how the crop grew — weaker stalks happen.
  • Core your bins, farmers! Already reports of fines causing big issues. Even just put it in a truck or buggy and leave it a day or two, and put it back in. Move those hot spots. And remember that too-high moisture corn in a bin can also freeze solid.
  • Wait! You need less N where I harvest my corn stalks? It’s all about C:N ratio for residue breakdown
  • How do measure the value of residue? About a penny a pound (of dry matter) when trying to figure out value of nutrients brought in as residue.
  • On the N tie-up front, what happens if I plant oats after wheat then plant corn: do I need more or less N? If you let the oats only grow to 12″ high and terminate, awesome. But if you let those oats go to head and are full of stems? That first 30 pounds of N gets tied up breaking down the oat crop.
  • Thank you for a great year of Wheat Pete’s Word! Keep sending those updates, feedback, plot results, the weather, and keep those questions coming.

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