Wheat Pete's Word, April 15: Staying connected, N trials on wheat, and cool spring temps


Sometimes a small gesture can go a long way to improve your day. So, lucky Wheat Pete’s Word fans, host Peter Johnson has a special gift for you — not one, but TWO podcasts this week.  There’s just that much to cover, friends.

For this Part A of the April 15th edition, Johnson shares some wise words on managing stress during the COVID-19 pandemic tackles some questions on cold tolerance of cereals and offers a chance for farmers to take part in a few cool trials, too. Check back Friday for the second part of this week’s Word!

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].


    • Stress, stress, stress. There is plenty to be stressed about right now, and that’s hard on our bodies, minds, and relationships. Fearing the unknown — being in that fight or flight zone all the time — is worse for us than accepting the tough situation and working on being at rest. We know it’s tough, but if you can get to the point where you’re focused on gratitude, being grateful, your mind and body will thank you. Turn off the news and turn on your personal connections.
    • OK, on to the Q and A. We’ve had some cooler temps, as low as -9 degrees C at soil level. Are the crops ok?
    • Barley that went in April 7 is going to be fine. Soil temps are more constant than air temps.
    • Now, winter wheat in Kansas that experienced a freeze so bad there’s ice in the stems, so those heads are likely dead. But Ontario wheat isn’t nearly that far along, for one thing, and but the earliest wheat in Ontario should withstand cool temps, but -9 is pushing it.
    • Poor wheat on untiled ground, late-planted, has just not performed well, frost-heaved, and some plants have died off. Get out there and scout that wheat, because some may need to be taken out, unfortunately.
    • Did you see the 2600 bushel grain cart on Twitter? Wow. Think about compaction!
    • A reminder to please test manure pH, please, says OMAFRA’s, Christine Brown. Ammonium in the manure reverts to ammonia and blows off if the surface applied. Lower pH is better if broadcasting (but maybe injecting or working in is a better option? Again, test!)
    • Wheat in Ontario is hitting Growth stage 30. How do you know? Split the main stem and find that wee little wheat head
    • Thinking about pushing wheat and using a growth regulator? (Manipulator is the only registered option, though there is another one on the way). On your good wheat, do one of these trials! Join the fun!
Here is the protocol: High Management Wheat Trial
  • If you do use a growth regulator to decrease lodging risk, do you lose straw yield? In tonnage, it should be the same.
  • Wheat Pete and RealAgriculture are also doing a strip-till trail in partnership with Maizex and Nithfield. Check that out here: Strip Tillage 2020.
  • When do you patch in poor wheat/tile run wheat? Now! Last week! Make sure that if you’re using it for your own feed, fill in with barley as it’s the closest in maturity to winter wheat. If selling it, you’ll have to use spring wheat, but it will be two-stage maturity, for sure.

Tune in for Part B of Wheat Pete’s Word on Friday, April 17th!

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