Wheat Pete's Word, June 9: Potato leafhopper, wild weather, and side-dress nitrate results


Another insect alert (this time for potato leafhopper), weather whammies and the effect on corn, corn nitrogen side-dress timing, and weed science research results all headline this week’s episode of Wheat Pete’s Word.

Will host Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson get through all his chosen topics before he runs out of time? Listen in to find out and be sure to check out all the great resources Pete mentions in this episode!

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].


  • Safety alert! Silo gas. You have to be careful, please
  • Last week the insect alert was for alfalfa weevil, this week it’s for potato leafhopper! Remember the thresholds. More on alfalfa weevil here. And for potato leafhopper, read on here
  • Wild weather. From freezing temperatures to extreme heat, and drought to floods. It’s all happening. Goldilocks zone or horseshoes? You decide
  • Winter wheat head tip kernels touched by frost. The rest of the head gets all the photosynthate and will set more kernels. Near miss!
  • Millet crop touched by frost pulled through. Soybeans can take up to two weeks to show new growth after a frost!
  • Reduced corn stands, reducing side dress nitrogen recommendations accordingly
  • Side dress nitrate testing, check out the results here. Average is 12 ppm, sort of bang-on, kinda
  • Cold temperatures, did they slow down nitrogen release? Soil microbes are chugging away at a normal pace
  • Do your own test, though! Do a nitrate test if you have manure or red clover in the history, especially
  • Pre-emerge herbicide damaging ragweed at eight to ten leaf. Time of day spraying research results: 3:00 pm for all herbicides. Don’t miss that info here
  • A question from Saskatchewan! Liberty sprayed at 35 °C, the weeds died, the canola looks fine. Colleen Redlick of BASF, says that over 27 °C the plants and weeds shut down. With Liberty, there’s no upper temperature limit, but in Western Canada, delta T is a big thing.
  • Check out this Sprayers101 post from Tom Wolf. Temperature isn’t the only environmental factor!
  • High temperatures at grain fill? 18 degrees C days, 10 degrees C days is optimal. At hotter temps, the wheat is growing twice as fast as we want it to
  • Grain fill begins at pollination and ends in the peduncle!
  • The value of straw. Even at today’s fertilizer prices, only $0.01 per pound in straw. Is three cents a good deal? Pete breaks it down

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