Wheat Pete's Word, July 1 — Pest pressure, rapid growth syndrome, and Happy 153rd, Canada!


For this special Canada Day edition of Wheat Pete’s Word, host Peter Johnson has got answers to your timely agronomic questions. The good news is there are no alerts this week, but that doesn’t mean you can let the throttle off scouting — there are insect pests creeping in and populations can grow very quickly!

A full summary of this episode is below the player.

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].


  • Happy Canada Day!
  • There’s some BIG wheat out there. Northern Illinois, adopting some wheat management tips for this “forgotten crop.” 56 kernels per head, 75 heads per square foot. Math spells out to about 244 bushel per acre wheat! Highly productive soil. Can’t wait to see the numbers when it’s combined.
  • Pea crop for Ontario, and yields are solid
  • It is DRY in some places, and super wet in some other areas
  • Edible beans got a huge blast of rain, conventional tillage, a little slope, and just tonnes of erosion in the field. Really stings.
  • The Big White Combine rolled through southern Alberta
  • Corn, soy and edible beans don’t mind dry weather right now — as in, it’s not going to significantly impact yield right now. It’s not a critical time. For corn, it’s all about rain in the seven days before tassel and the weather post-tassel. Heck, this is corn weather, though. 30 degrees C is the sweet spot, plus warm nights.
  • Thursday to Tuesday, 5 days…growing 6″ per day in this weather
  • Wheat suffers in this heat. An inch of rain right now would make some grain, for sure. Wheat doesn’t love over 25 degrees C.
  • Leafhopper update for alfalfa was a great reminder to get out and scout. That’s what the Word is all about!
  • No alerts this week, but scout, scout, scout.
  • Spider mites like dry, and will move out of the wheat (or the fencerow!) into the soybeans. Check out the Soybean School on this topic. Don’t let them get ahead of you. It has to be the right product! Don’t kill your beneficials
  • Soybean aphids are there, but the beneficials are working hard (you are welcome, says the Wheat Crop). Populations can explode
  • White mould control timing is now! Soybean with a flower in the top two nodes of the plant is prime time for pass one. Use the Sporecaster app.
  • Fungicide in corn. Which products do what? Over-the-top application vs. directed spray. Somewhat better coverage, but still, fly-on or high clearance sprayer still works well. Gibberella control is a little better with directed nozzles.
  • Dissolved urea question — does it have to be feed-grade? Well, no, but do watch the biuret levels (it can burn if the levels are too high)
  • With dry weather, manganese deficiencies show up, and needs corrected
  • Zinc and sulphur and magnesium deficiencies showing up in the corn crop, too. Get some symptoms tallied up and do some research. Don’t confuse any of these with rapid growth syndrome
  • Plant sap or tissue analysis? If you’ve got patches or strips of issues, do a comparative analysis between healthy and not healthy crops.
  • Potash (K) deficiency in soybean? Broadcast potash ahead of a rain!

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