Wheat Pete's Word, Dec 2: Soil crumbles, bio-strips, and a Word from the West


In this week’s Wheat Pete’s Word, host Peter Johnson talks wheat physiology — it might be cold, but it’ll still photosynthesize — oats, changing the language around “recreational” tillage, controlled traffic, and so much more.

Also, catch Pete on the most recent episode of The Agronomists, where he’s a guest alongside Jeremy Boychyn from Alberta’s Wheat and Barley Commissions. They covered cereal variety selection taking all factors into consideration and leaving no stone unturned.

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].


  • There’s a reason Pete tries to keep it to 16 minutes!
  • Can’t get to all the virtual events? Find so much of it here.
  • Finally, we’ve got a new PGR from Syngenta registered for the 2021 season.
  • Cold October, warm November has left us with some ugly, colourful wheat. See the Wheat School here.
  • Yields on corn are alllll over the place. Sub 100 to over 300. 2020 corn crop is coming in so far, on average. Soybeans are looking 10 to 12 per cent above long term average, but not a new record.
  • 97 per cent of long term average for canola. It can stand heat and it can stand drought, but it can’t stand both
  • Oats came in about 96 per cent of average
  • Spring wheat came in at 83 per cent of average. Ouch.
  • Tillage talk! Know the impact of the tillage you’re doing.
  • Structure in soil from conventional to no-till to resemble pasture crumb structure? Some research says five years, but the traffic over the field still impacts soil structure. Maybe controlled traffic farming is the way to get there, plus good rotation.
  • Stip till erosion control? Bio strips.
  • Plough as shallow as you can! Or not at all.
  • Word from the West with Lara de Moissac: What’s the difference between salinity and soil pH, and does tile drainage solve saline issues? Saline soils? Grow barley or forages. If neither grows there, tile drainage isn’t a quick or set solution. You’ll need irrigation and a way to manage the salts washed through the soil profile.

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