Early growing season LIVE! Q&A with Peter "Wheat Pete" Johnson


It’s time for a very spring edition of RealAg LIVE! Q&A and for it, we’ve go the crowd-pleasing Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson to talk about, well, just about everything. Check out the summary and video below!

  • The best thing we can have at seeding and planting is a drought. And for eastern Ontario, they’re looking good, because, hey, “plant in the dust and the bins will bust”!
  • Parts of Ontario are way too wet, the deep south is incredibly wet. It’s been so very cold.
  • Western Canada update: Manitoba needs some dry weather, Sask. looks good, and Alberta may get some timely rain this week.
  • Wheat Pete was out looking for wheat head damage and freeze damage on alfalfa. He couldn’t find much. Alfalfa looks okay. Acclimation at play, he thinks.
  • Cold weather and herbicide? We should still be okay, but scout scout scout, we’ll start to see escapes in the next week to two weeks
  • Re-plant decisions after 3″ of rain and some warm weather all depend on where you farm. Don’t run out of season! Check out GoCorn.net to help make that call on corn.
  • Make sure you’re doing stand assessments first, for sure. Especially with beans (more adaptable?)

Summary continues after the video! And don’t miss the next RealAg LIVE! on Thursday at 3 pm Eastern


  • Most diseases like wet weather and a slow-to-emerge crop can also be susceptible. But cold and wet is different than warm and wet. Be concerned and aware of disease risks, but cool temps aren’t great for diseases either
  • Eye spot, crown rot, root diseases, others: rotation, rotation, rotation. Even oats can be a rotation crop. Some seed treatments help, as does potassium chloride in-furrow (but within reason)
  • Fusarium risk! It’s all about the weather AT HEADING. Rains a week before heading, and a week after heading — bingo! Disease development. But if it’s dry at heading, well, that reduces (but doesn’t eliminate the risk)
  • Wheat after white beans — weed issues? Dandelion pressure, for sure
  • Split-app N, with sulphur or without? This year is showing a big difference in sulphur and even manganese deficiency, and it’s all about cold soil issues (usually in patches, not following lines). Get on there and correct it.
  • ESN vs. split app? ESN is temp and moisture dependent: meaning that that N is still there, but if you had planned it to be available, it won’t be yet. It has its place but isn’t necessarily a replacement.
  • Early planted corn is emerging. We are seeing some strange emergence things, like split seeds.
  • What to keep an eye on in the coming weeks: Corn, evaluate how good of a job you did planting (and the planter, too). Wheat, watch for powdery mildew, even on 15″ rows!
  • Scout every field, not every crop type
  • Burning stubble, residue? It’s ridiculous! That’s your carbon, meaning it’s your eventual organic matter. Get better at spreading residue at harvest — Your soil health will thank you. Match header width to chaff spread, like they do in Europe? Maybe.

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