Wheat Pete's Word, May 27: Aphid alerts, soil sorrows, and eyes on nitrogen loss


Someone has flipped the switch from our cold weather woes, because it’s now summer in Ontario – with all the challenges and joys that the hot weather brings.

In this week’s Wheat Pete’s Word, host Peter Johnson flags a crop alert (it’s too early, but we’re starting there anyway), gives crop updates on corn and soybeans, and discusses nitrogen loss – we’re into that season, so make sure you protect your nitrogen appropriately. Listen now, or download for later!

Have a question you’d like Johnson to address? 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].


  • rye harvest is full swing ahead, and yields are (for the most part) awesome
  • we’ve moved from the dead of winter to the heart of summer in about two days; beans planted in snow — fourteen days ago — are emerging now at 29° Celcius
  • ALERT ALERT ALERT! Aphids in the wheat crop!
    • Tracey Baute has a pertinent article on Field Crop News about aphids in wheat
    • if you don’t scout and control for aphids, they will cost you yield. You’re looking for a threshold of 12 to 15 per stem before heading, and 50 per stem after heading
  • stripe rust has arrived in Michigan at the Michigan State University genetic trials
    • scout for stripe rust when you’re scouting for aphids and if you see some, definitely spray and stay on top of it
  • #plant20 is done! (As long as Pete doesn’t have to replant anything, that is), and struggles with clay gives you a great appreciation for the farmers who are dealing with the clay belt
  • corn is starting to emerge — down in Chatham-Kent and into Essex where there was a big thunderstorm, great soil has turned into a solid mass… so were the soil conditions as fit as we thought they were?
  • Horst Bohner’s soybean depth trials have revealed that the sweet spot is definitely 1 1/2 inches, as long as you have good moisture
  • some corn is being replanted, but it seems to be worse on lighter soils than on heavier soils, and rotation is definitely a factor
  • watch out for wireworms!
  • do you have plots testing with or without Stamina fungicide?
    • companies are looking for differences in stand establishment
  • we can finally put the whole 2020 temperature discussion to rest! We planted when it was cold, and for the most part, crops planted in the cold are okay
  • scout your corn fields for uniformity of emergence. All plants need to come up within four or five days, otherwise you’re looking at a lot less yield potential. Definitely get a sense of how wide your emergence window is, and change your management accordingly
  • We’re in the nitrogen loss time frame; check out this nitrogen loss study done by Cyndy Grant
  • what’s going on with Pete’s rainbow wheat crop? Sulphur response in wheat is causing issues within patches in the field
  • dandelions in frost-seeded or early-seeded oats? You control in the fall, not now — the best you can do now is twist them up
  • frost heave stalled wheat — more nitrogen? If you’ve ripped the roots off, chances of making it better with more nitrogen are slim
  • save your beef manure for corn, rather than wheat
  • red clover on rotation with corn — more crops with more diversity equals better soil

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Subscribe to our daily newsletters to keep you up-to-date with our latest coverage every morning.

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Other Episodes

Wheat Pete's Word (view all)Season 6 (2020) Episode 31

Please register to read and comment.


Register for a RealAgriculture account to manage your Shortcut menu instead of the default.