Wheat Pete's Word, July 21: Green snap, Diagnostic Days, lodged wheat yields, and swarms of WBC


A few key things are lining up for the corn crop — but they are not necessarily all good. The western bean cutworm flight and pollination are lining up nearly perfectly, and that means an increased risk of gibberella ear rot infection.

For this episode of Wheat Pete’s Word, host Peter Johnson discusses another hit against the corn crop — smoke and haze — and reports on some severe weather fall-out to the corn and soybean crops. Curious about wheat yields? He’s got lodged versus standing, and early versus late plots to discuss too. Listen now or download to listen in the cab!

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].


  • Remember do not re-enter the field after an insecticide until after the re-entry period. Good reminder
  • Rutting up the fields to get to the wheat in Chatham-Kent. Wild! 1 in 200 year event
  • Major storm rolled through northern and eastern Ontario, corn snapped below the ear
  • That’s green snap from high winds and hail injury. Below the ear means they’re done, dead
  • A few broken stems on soybeans or a few shredded leaves on corn aren’t necessarily going to significantly bite into yield, but broken stems and fully shredded leaves will
  • The first Ontario Diagnostic Days is up! Find it here. It’s a video AND a podcast.
  • The Wonderful World of Wheat — big wheat time. Reports up into the 170 bu/ac neighbourhood (unconfirmed)
  • Record confirmed is 181 bu/ac for Ontario
  • Plenty in the 120s and 130s bu/ac
  • There are some incredible prices out there. Wow
  • Quality front: sprouts! Full on green sprouts on lodged wheat. Bad news scenario
  • Niagara, Lambton counties
  • Feed is short, so feed market is strong for off-quality wheat
  • Bin the good stuff! Because the grade discount is steep
  • Corn is in short supply until the ’21 crop comes off
  • Straw to move west? There’s a huge need for feed in the west
  • Ontario is awash with straw
  • Plot results: 30 pounds more N in some replicated strip trials, 20 bu/ac more yield, another trial, good return and added test weight
  • More management, better test weight
  • Chris: clover as high as the wheat crop where there was winter kill. 60 bu/ac to 125 bu/ac yield range. Always single cut red clover with poorer wheat
  • Take-all in the wheat crop after long-term hay crop. In areas with extra nutrients, there was grain, but everywhere else, take-all. All gone.
  • What about seed wheat? Sprouted…will it make seed? As long as the flap on the end of the kernel is intact, there is still some germ there. If you dry it, keep the temp low or you’ll kill it then
  • Over-dry wheat? 1 per cent over-dry at 12.5 per cent, you lose 1.1 per cent in weight. At $300/tonne, you gave up over $3/bu
  • Lodged early, flat wheat yielded 50 bu/ac vs 100 bu/ac standing. Could have been root lodged
  • And WHY did we see so much lodged wheat? It was dry! June 1 to July 14 weather and the lowest photo-thermal quotient since 2000. Light to make photosynthate per GDD/heat unit. It means more stem reserves and root reserves went into the grain and it flopped over. Or that’s at least part of the reason.
  • Corn pollination time. The two weeks prior and after pollination (tassel) we need sunshine. This smoke could impact full pollination.
  • Double cobs — only one will make it
  • Alert! Alert! Alert! Western bean cutworm. Full traps or in the field. It’s lining up with pollination which adds risk to gibberella infection
  • Yellow soybeans, will N pay? Well, the issue is added N has to be taken up by the roots, but the roots aren’t there. They may re-grow and inoculate later


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