Wheat Pete's Word, Feb 17: Extreme cold, the view from above, and how to scare away birds


It’s only 11 days until the meteorological start of spring, which is pretty cool, but so are the temperatures in Ontario, in Western Canada, and all the way down to the southern U.S.

On this Wheat Pete’s Word, our host Peter Johnson fields all sorts of questions about the cold, plus manganese, scaring away birds, hairy vetch, and so much more.

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].


  • COLD! -25 °C last night. Cold out west too, don’t worry Pete hasn’t forgotten about the west.
  • Snow in Texas, has to do something to the corn right? Well, Pete says snow on top of a corn crop, it’ll be ok.
  • OK it might be cold, but did you know southwestern Ontario is getting three more minutes of daylight per day?
  • Drones and satellites. Growers should go for an airplane ride. 128,000 acres to look at!
  • Mental wellness: what is a resilience rating, and how are Canadian farmers doing? Reach out!
  • Back in December, prices were rallying like crazy, now fast forward, Brazil got rain, their soybean crop is fine, so what’s going on with prices?
  • #Plant21 has begun! With some red clover spreading. How do you get a good clover stand?
  • A yield advantage using compost?
  • Australian feedback. MAP prices jumping up? If you didn’t lock your phosphorus prices in, you’ll have seen a big jump.
  • Pete has never seen nutrient stratification cause a yield loss in Ontario. Earthworms and roots help. There’s no yield data that indicates you should plow to assist this.
  • If you have to till, do it when it’s dry please.
  • OM of 6.2%, manganese is always coming back low, on a clay-loam. First off, manganese testing is highly variable and can be unreliable. On a clay-loam, your chances of having to do anything about this is really, really low.
  • A wheat crop beside a wetland and the geese are coming back and eating it. Fake coyotes or dead carcasses. Bird scare cannons. Lasers.
  • Hairy vetch and red clover research. Nitrogen benefit? Leaving the hairy vetch into spring left a lot of N.
  • Hard to plant corn into hairy vetch afterwards though.

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