RealAg LIVE! with Peter "Wheat Pete" Johnson on early seeding, warmer weather, and irrigation


If the ground is fit, it’s time to roll into the field. But what if it’s March in Alberta?

For this RealAg LIVE!, host Shaun Haney is joined by resident agronomist Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson, for a lively Q&A tackling ultra early seeding, fungicide timing tips, irrigation advancements, and more!

RealAg LIVE! streams every weekday at 3 pm E on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter!


  • Pete likes dressing up for these events, mostly to show up Shaun
  • We’re gaining frost-free days and some crop heat units. Is that good?
  • Corn being grown where it wasn’t before
  • Timing of rainfall. It’s not just the total amount, it’s when the rain falls
  • How do we prepare for less frequent, but larger rainfalls?
  • Organic matter! Cover that ground
  • Also some contour drainage and water holding, for sub-irrigation
  • Cisterns!
  • But yes, we have to follow rules, too
  • Have we killed the winter wheat yet?
  • It’s going to be OK likely in Ontario and possibly Western Canada, but don’t even ask about eastern Ontario
  • Get that wheat in the ground! And yes use a seed treatment. Though ultra early is pretty cold and dry. Maybe less of a risk?
  • What about Alberta and Montana? It’s dry. Seed treatments are cheap insurance.
  • Untreated wheat seed? BUNT.
  • It’s a risk, for sure.
  • How do we grow great wheat?! Heads per square foot, N, maybe a growth regulator
  • Can I seed wheat ahead of frosts? YES. The growing point is still below ground. Even to three-leaf stage.
  • What about fungicide timing? Whatever you do, don’t do a half rate of anything.
  • Why did the way of thinking used to be peas and lentils before durum?
  • Soybeans are tough maybe even tougher than corn. King corn? No way.
  • Seed the fields when they are ready.
  • Biggest profit opportunity? Get that crop into ideal conditions. So perhaps get the cereals in ultra early so you have time!

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