Wheat Pete's Word, Nov 18: Road safety during harvest, late-planted corn, and tillage for wheat


This week’s Wheat Pete’s Word features a lot of corn talk.

But wait a minute Pete, isn’t your favourite crop wheat? Don’t worry, host Peter Johnson has quite a few corn questions, some chat about fall vs spring fertilizer applications, and eventually talks wheat.

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].


  • Unbelievable wind this past Sunday. Thank goodness it was an early harvest and all of the corn was out of the field. Corn that was left, Pete’s astounded that it wasn’t completely flattened.
  • Snow. Dangit. Winter’s going to come, whether we want it or not. What happened to all the people who listen to the Word on the phone system. Where are you?
  • Safety of others! Hauling manure on Saturday in SW Ont, gotta giv’er. But when the cars started to slip off because of mud, manure, and corn stalks, the country had to be called in to get the snow plows on that road to make it safe again. Farming with the safety of others in mind, we have to do better.
  • Corn crops. Pretty average yields. Why on really excellent ground, a lot of corn is just in that ok 190 to 200 range? Early planted corn, with good soil conditions and temps, flowered right in the middle of the July drought, which took the yield edge off. Mid-planted corn, just ok. Late-planted corn, looked amazing, but surprisingly the low ground was yielding 10 to 20 bushels less than the hilltops. Frost.
  • Hard to dry corn? Nothing in the literature that says high test weight corn is harder to dry. Thicker pericarp.
  • DON, levels are overall low. But a few corn fields out there are quite high. 15, even up to 25 ppm. No-till, good rotation. Hog farms seem to be at higher risk of DON because of manure applications and on years when that manure puts a lot of N into the system, then higher DON levels. Excessive N makes the corn crop more susceptible to having that infection.
  • Potash, spring or fall application and I’ve been told that fall application is better?! Is fall potash tremendously more available? Maybe a bit, but spring potash application will still become bioavailable.
  • Strip-tilling corn, how much potash can I put in the strip to not cause any damage to next year’s corn crop? Snow and rain will take the salt-index out of the potash before the next corn crop grows in, almost no limit.
  • Potassium in soybeans. Zero response in a study done in Manitoba. That’s a head scratcher. Then the researchers threw barley in the mix, which got an excellent response to potash applied in that barley crop, when soil was testing low for potassium.
  • In Pete’s long-term P and K trials, where he’s only built up the P in the soil-test, lower thousand kernel weights in the wheat. Stats needs to be done to sort it out definitely.
  • Wheat. A picture from Kazakhstan of wheat with yellow leaf-tips. Wind damage.
  • Red, injured wheat struggling with internal field drainage. Way more issues for people who moldboard plough than for people who do light tillage. ANY tillage destroys soil structure. But no-till isn’t necessarily the way in Ont. work towards less tillage, but keep yields the same.

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