Wheat Pete's Word, Nov 11: What your wheat is telling you, hard-to-dry corn, and paying our respects


If your wheat looks tough but the neighbour’s doesn’t, it’s time to sit down and try and figure out what impact your own management is having on your fields.

That’s just one take-home message from this week’s Wheat Pete’s Word. Host Peter Johnson explains what the likely culprits are of purple, red, and yellow wheat, plus top tips for this very late planted wheat, why corn is hard to dry right now, and, of course, how grateful we are on this Remembrance Day.

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].


  • It’s Remembrance Day. Please take the time to honour our veterans; we owe them a debt of gratitude for the lives we lead now
  • When things go wrong on the Word upload/on the phone line, tell us so we can fix it!
  • Balmy in the east, snow storm in the west. Sorry, not sorry.
  • Tremendous harvest progress! Some Ontario elevators are a little jammed up drying corn. Yield reports coming in, and there’s some awesome yields out there, but strips of disappointment. What’s that about?
  • Crop prices are making some disappointing yields sting a little less
  • High test weights. 64 pound per bushel corn. Heaviest he’s ever seen. That’s heavier than wheat! North shore of Lake Erie. Wow!
  • Some are saying corn is hard to dry down, but is that the high test weight at play? Let Wheat Pete know.
  • Soybean quality is still OK, which is rare, given the time of year. The late edible beans that froze in September, are coming off but at 7 to 10 per cent pick. Even with gentle harvesting, seed coats are cracking
  • Late wheat still going in the ground in Ontario. 54 days later and still planting wheat!
  • OK, do you go more shallow? No, the seed/growing point needs some insulation from the cold
  • 5 acre corner came up poorly. Do I replant? Yup.
  • Tile run wheat doesn’t look nice, do you reseed? Get digging.
  • Wheat planted into perfect conditions, got snow on it, emergence looks poor. Dig the seed! If it’s rotting, replant.
  • Early planted wheat is looking tougher. But the neighbour doesn’t have the same issue. What’s the difference? Probably not seed-placed phosphorus, but “listen” to what your wheat is telling you.
  • Purple wheat, red wheat. Some looks sprayed, nearly. What’s that about?
  • Again, get to the root of the issue. Drainage, seed, seed treatment, root growth, and more. Lack of root growth is usually a wet soil issue. Compaction? Internal drainage plays a role. Your own farm management — what are you doing differently than your neighbours without discoloured wheat. This time of year, water needs to move down, not evaporate off to dry soil. So internal drainage.
  • Seeding ease equals soil structure. How tough is planting for you? Could be a red flag.
  • How do you fix it? Longer term solution is soil health, more organic matter, more roots growing. But there can be yield drag.
  • Rye vs. oats discussion.
  • This 10 days of great weather is lovely, but my cereal rye is now so thick, I think I better do something with it this fall.

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