Wheat Pete's Word, Dec 9: Winter erosion, residue, and alternating rows of corn and soybeans


When it comes to gauging the success of management decisions, it’s important to run more than one replication in a trial — observing differences is a great way to decide on what might deserve a closer look next year.

In this week’s Wheat Pete’s Word, host Peter Johnson shares some of the plot results that have come in from listeners; plus he celebrates soil, discusses compaction impacts, and when to till and not till ahead of winter.

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].


  • The Ontario Agricultural Conference will go in early January! Get registered!
  • Remember there is also The Agronomists on Monday nights at 8 pm E on RealAg’s social channels. It’s free! And you can get CCA and other CEU credits
  • Saturday was World Soil Day!
  • Is it fair to compare crop ground to pasture ground as the ideal?
  • Yes! We want to strive for that level of soil health
  • Rotational tillage? Till after wheat stubble (primary tillage), then secondary tillage. Oats planted after.
  • Doing secondary tillage after plowing in November? Ouch. That’s going to make erosion worse! Plowed fields may look rough, but that actually decreases winter erosion!
  • Surface drainage tillage = best corn. Will strip till reach the same level?
  • It’s about residue, residue, residue
  • Controlled traffic farming questions. No-till in Peace region of Alberta. Now, that’s a short season! He’s been doing CTF for 10 years, and definitely feels the soil is improving. But have to fill in those tracks, or the water runs down them.
  • Standability issues in wheat; called a necking problem (right under the head, the peduncle) — it’s likely varietal, not fertility
  • Calcium levels tying up nutrients? Not really an issue
  • One replication isn’t a trial, it’s a look at what you might want to look into deeper. One replication could be compaction or soil influenced, vs a product. Is it repeatable? (Also, Pete really wants your data)
  • Nine rows of corn, nine rows of soybean alternating on 20″ spacing in the same field, in rotation with wheat, and some cranberry beans, too. Plants in to the tractor track, but lowers the PSI in the tires
  • In a lower heat unit area, the yields are higher!

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