Wheat Pete's Word, Sept 16: Too good to be true yields, wheat fertility, and some disease questions


Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson talks a mile a minute in this one folks, buckle up!

In this week’s episode of Wheat Pete’s Word, host Peter Johnson answers all the agronomy questions about wheat seeding, cover crops, and weed control, in a Farmer Rapid Fire style. We see what you did there, Johnson, trying to be like RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney!

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].


  • Great Lakes grain tour is forecasting 58 bushel soybeans, could it be a new record, can it really be that good? Get those yield numbers in!
  • Parts of Ontario got that much needed inch of rain, outstanding edible bean yields, 3800-4000 lbs per acre harvested
  • Soybean price as of today broke resistance
  • Hey Peter! I was walking through my soybean fields and top 3 to 4 inches have zero pods. There are nodes and leaves, but no pods. Plant ran out of resources, maybe dry late in the season, not enough sun. Remember the big yield comes from the middle of the plant anyways, so no biggie.
  • If frost is below nine degrees celsius, we lose a day towards silage corn harvest. Three consecutive days below four degrees celsius, the corn plant will stop filling, but Johnson doesn’t say doomsday is nigh, yet. Photosynthesis may stop for a day, but translocation will continue, as long as it’s advanced enough.
  • Aphids in corn! Johnson has never seen that kind of pressure in a corn field. We could really use those cold temperatures, last thing you want is early planted wheat to get barley yellow dwarf virus from those aphids.

    Tracey Baute/OMAFRA, 2020
  • Knee high red clover! The tractor used to cut it is strugglin!
  • Silage. Corn on corn with a bit of alfalfa in the rotation has turned into corn silage-winter wheat-oat for forage-back into corn in the spring. Fusarium concerns? Planting wheat after corn silage will catch you sometimes. Corn silage yield has increased by 15 to 20 per cent since switching up the rotation.
  • A question from Virginia! Starter fertilizer, broadcast, do I feed the soil or feed the plant for winter wheat growth? Seed placed phosphorus is probably about 4x more effective than broadcasting it. If you can’t seed place, broadcast 200 lbs high phos, good to go.
  • Maximum safe rate of potash with wheat seed? Will it suppress take all? The answer is 50 lbs of 0-0-60 will give you some suppression.
  • Wheat after oats that lodged bad, lots of volunteers. You can no-till your wheat into that since there’s not that much competition. Good seed-to-soil contact is important. Johnson would probably spray those oats out a day before or after seeding.
  • What’s the probability of dwarf bunt? Johnson’s unsure of an actual number, but once you get it, it’s 100% crop loss. Treat your wheat seed. Common bunt is a little different as it’s seed borne not soil borne, but treat your seed anyways. Plant a little less, pay for the seed treatment.
  • Treating wheat up an auger, be careful with the water. A seed treating facility will always do the best possible job.
  • Nothing wrong with wheat as a cover crop! Can stay small, grows lots of roots.
  • After silage, do I plant oats or rye? Getting to the end of the window for planting, need at least four weeks of growth, get em in the ground!

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