Wheat Pete's Word, Apr 14: Zooming wheat, slow release rain, and the rule of three

The crops are flying. Not literally, but the winter wheat is growing fast!

This week’s Wheat Pete’s Word has explanations of what growing degree day accumulation will do for winter wheat, plus the downsides of the warmer weather in Ontario. Also, our host Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson explains what he means by “slow release rain” and WAMLEGS.

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]


  • Holy cow! The wheat is zooming through the growth stages.
  • Growing degree days for wheat for March and April so far? Even across the province (sorry north, not you), over 200 GDD! Versus the usual 40 on average. 500% of normal heat for some areas
  • London is at 250% of heat for the wheat crop!
  • Huge implications for growth regulator timing
  • Too early for corn, frost seeded cereals are emerging, manure is already spread….twiddling thumbs time? Rest, tackle some upkeep projects
  • Western Canada got some snow (slow release rain was very needed)
  • March 15 spring barley went in, April 9, it’s emerging
  • Wheat seeded on March 29 in Saskatchewan, not up yet, but has germinated
  • Don’t worry, snow won’t hurt that early wheat
  • Cover crop oats are all over the place. Some survived the winter. Hold up!
  • They look amazing….do you take it for forage? For sure you can, but don’t hold out for grain
  • What are the down sides of this warm weather? Red clover under-seeded in wheat and alfalfa — frost damage is likely, if those wee plants are well grown
  • Some concern for fruit trees, too — May frost can happen and wipe out flowers
  • Bean and corn row syndrome in wheat, it’s showing you where the phosphorus is!
  • Manganese deficiency vs. cold injury damage, know the difference!
  • Early planted wheat is hitting growth stage 30 and that means get that growth regulator on if you plan on using one (more on the why or why not to use one next week)
  • Also, high N demand is now! If you have been waiting to put the N on, now is the time
  • If you’re a split application farmer, just stick to the plan, you’re good
  • 28% N on with cold temps? Don’t worry, just not on white frost on leaves
  • Annual weeds are germinating too (150 to 200 GDD is the magic range)
  • Ragweed and pigweed is not there yet
  • Rule of three: above 3 degrees C (or more), for three nights (before, on the day of application, and the night after). Bump that water volume, too
  • Winter annuals probably should have been done by now
  • Could do PGR and herbicide in same mix
  • Hold off on the fungicide for now
  • Septoria is showing up, yes, but cool nights hold it in check for now
  • Manure on wheat? N credit? Spread pattern matters, y’all. Better on corn
  • If it stays dry and cool, farmers will want to do some work, know your mix order

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