Wheat Pete's Word, Mar 31: Rainfall amounts, physiological fleck, and too many tillers


Things are growing — including the weeds — as the rain is falling in eastern Canada. Parts of Ontario are getting the right amount of rain, while others are starting to drown. Oh, the fun of relying on Mother Nature.

In this episode of Wheat Pete’s Word, our host Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson talks plot opportunities, potash on wheat, controlling winter annuals, and 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].


  • What a March! At least 100 growing degree days pretty much everywhere in Ontario (except the north)
  • Frost-seeded spring cereals! An awesome start to 2021
  • Rainfall. It was dry. Central Ontario along Lake Ontario is swimming though
  • Pete’s Australian rainfall numbers from last week’s episode, his mental math wasn’t quite correct. 15 inches, not 157 inches
  • Not using a mold-board plow in this century? Good on ya! Made some money out of it, in fact
  • Plots! Evaluating how much benefit plant grow regulators give to a wheat production system. If they bring something to the table, how much more can we push N?
  • Potash on wheat in spring? Physiological fleck (sunburn in wheat leaves) tied to chloride… Pete explains.
  • Wheat on sand already manganese deficient in March. Grower applied some manganese sulphate and it responded! Dark green and going gang-busters.
  • Weeds in a wheat crop. Control your winter annual weeds in the fall! Football-sized dandelions? No thanks.
  • Glyphosate has been lost as a burn-down option for edible beans. Scout your edible bean fields. The earlier you can apply the alternative weed control products, the better.
  • Cereal rye as a cover crop. Better get ready for a plan b to control it before planting something else this spring
  • The differences Pete sees in residue spread from behind the combine! It’s really important and Pete’s seen some heavy bands. As many as 10 less plants per square foot in that band, and a full tiller behind the rest of the crops.
  • Nitrogen on wheat. Isn’t green-up the right time to apply N to wheat? On this really big wheat with two to four tillers from last fall, plus 100 GDD, is enough to add another tiller. How do you manage all the tillers?
  • Split-N apps, please!
  • Sulphur. Ammonium thiosulphate. If you’ve never seen yellow wheat, you’re not shorting your crop on sulphur. High-yield wheat potential, watch for yellowing at the end.

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