Wheat Pete's Word, May 19: Wheat as forage, the value of protected N, yellow bands, and mildew risk


As we approach the first long weekend of the summer season, farmers are thinking about relaying winter wheat and barley for forage, protecting N on dry ground, and skipping a pre-emergent herbicide pass.

As to whether all or some (or none) of those are good ideas, Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson has the answers in this episode of Wheat Pete’s Word.

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]


  • Congrats to Peter’s sister!
  • Beef industry is paying high crop prices but isn’t seeing the bump in cattle prices, remember
  • Too hot in Ontario for wheat
  • Winter storm warnings in Western Canada. What the heck?
  • There will be some cold temps out west, but it’ll be fine
  • Clay soils need heat to dry out, so this heat will help
  • Elgin County on sand, wheat is burning up from lack of moisture
  • Manitoba, April 7, wheat looks OK! Even that planted deep for moisture
  • Yellow banding on wheat? It’s temperature banding! Won’t hurt yield
  • FOUR inch deep planted wheat. What happened? Buried rows with the drill
  • Three inches should really be the maximum
  • 150 to 180 corn heat units in May so far for Ontario, corn should be up
  • For every inch of depth you need 50 GDD (for cereals) for emergence
  • Sunburned leaves? There are variety differences!
  • Physiological fleck is not a disease
  • Winter barley is showing dwarf virus. Aphids last fall spread it.
  • Does dryness change our fungicide timing?
  • Wheat’s worth money, but leaf disease pressure is low….STOP the madness. Don’t spray “just in case.” It’s dry!
  • Mildew, however, might need control in susceptible varieties or in high humidity
  • What about N? Do you need an N loss inhibitor with no rain in the forecast? Well, if the ground is bone dry, it’s actually stable, but a urease inhibitor will be money well spent. Don’t just add more N, that’s all bad
  • Don’t worry about denitrification risk (so don’t pay for what you don’t need)
  • Will pre-emerge herbicides work? Yes! Research says 50 to 80% control even without rain to activate
  • It’s still well worth it!
  • Escapes that do happen will still be easier to control
  • Fleabane and 2,4-D in soybean pre-emerge program, the risk of yield loss to the beans is lower than the risk of loss to the fleabane
  • Sow thistle is coming back with too much time before planting…glyphosate plus tillage will always give you better control (knock it back) than just tillage
  • Edible beans going in now? It’s dry! But we have until the 15th of June to plant those edible bean crops. Be patient
  • Winter wheat and forage barley double crop? Will this work? Maybe, but there are likely better options, like triticale. Winter wheat isn’t a great forage crop

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