Wheat Pete's Word, Jan 6: The little harvest, plotting the year ahead, and a bin check


Welcome to the first Wheat Pete’s Word of 2021!

To kick off the year, host Peter Johnson has some key reminders (check those bins!) and answers to some of the top agronomy questions from the last growing season. He also shares about a successful “extra 15 minutes” and drops a “call your friends” challenge. Listen on!

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].


  • Happy New Year!
  • What did you do with your extra 15 minutes?
  • 54 days to the start of the weather version of spring! March 1.
  • Some are plotting for 2021 — real plots, that is. Get out there and plan! Some are already underway (re: red clover put down late fall)
  • Better to aim for the moon and miss, than aim for a pile of manure and get a direct hit. Wait, what?
  • Safrinha corn in Brazil — translation means little harvest. Full crop of soybeans, then a full corn crop. (Editor’s note: it’s pronounced sah-freen-yeh, Portugese is interesting)
  • Look at the science, please. Mexico is banning GMO corn. Oh gosh. We need to continue to have factual, science-based discussions.
  • Steamy corn! Not just the markets, for sure. What goes up must come down. Lock in some new crop? May be prudent.
  • Corn in bins is heating — actually steamy. Some cores have already gone off. What happened? There was good quality, fewer fines. And we’re only in January. Hmmmm. More information needed.
  • Bottom line: GO CHECK YOUR BINS
  • No snow on your bin? Check it. Birds roosting on one bin? Check it. Use the temp cables, if you have them.
  • Question and answer time! Y-drop on corn just prior to tasseling. One field put all the N up front and it did 10 bushels higher than the Y-drops. Every year is different. Temperature and moisture play a role, as does N availability in critical windows.
  • Biostrips: daikon radish and crimson clover, and in between cereal rye. Crimson clover is spindly and struggling with the radish. Do you get any N credit from the clover? What about the N from a daikon radish? Spindly clover isn’t going to contribute as much, but check the roots.
  • Red clover in October look so lovely. Just ahead of Christmas, was incorporating manure, and the red clover residue had disappeared! Why? Really low carbon to nitrogen ration. That’s why it “disappears” so fast. But that’s also how you get your N! The root breakdown that happens by the late spring.

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