Wheat Pete's Word, Mar 23: Early green up, syrup, soybean nutrition, and the snow-to-melt ratio


As the snow recedes and fields begin to show up again, some farmers are itching to get going on field work — from frost seeding to early nitrogen.

But, hold up. It’s way too early for N, even for forage crops, for the vast majority of Ontario right now. It’s not too early for clover or frost seeding, however, and that’s just one of the topics that Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson tackles in this early spring 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].


  • The Ontario agriculture industry lost a good one this past week, Steve Eastep. He will be missed
  • Evan at a recent Soil and Crop Middlesex directors meeting saying the wheat looks better this spring than it did last fall!
  • November planted wheat. It’s not all emerged yet. But by golly, it looks like it’s coming. So very cool on that. From that standpoint, by the way, lots of other questions around this whole wheat crop brown wheat I had a grower asked me why is Peter
  • Why is the wheat on your home farm so brown, Pete?
  • It comes out from under the snow green because it’s been protected by the snow all winter. But those leaves are old and tired and they’ve been frozen a few times. They dry!
  • Nature Nut Nick says lots of new green growth coming at the base of the of the plant.
  • Questions about wheat survival? Tune in Monday for The Agronomists, Mar 28, 8 pm Eastern. Join Russ Barker and Wheat Pete to talk assessing wheat stands, managing wheat stands
  • Nick did some forward contracting at $13.10 a bushel!
  • Snowdrops at the house were in full bloom that weeknd
  • It’s a short maple syrup run; only two-and-a-half weeks
  • Ryan out in Lambton county putting clover on Monday and Tuesday on dry soil, but with a quad, not a drill
  • If you get a chance go on Twitter to read about snow melt @Harder_Water
  • Once you get about halfway through going west in Saskatchewan, from there to the west and into Alberta, no snow whatsoever. They’re super dry.
  • Montana continues to be super dry. So is Texas and Oklahoma, and there are wildfires going through agricultural areas
  • Frost seeding some spring wheat: wait for the sweet spot of firm frost, but not frozen
  • Tyler says oats can work in this part of the world! In 2021, 146.2 bushel per acre oats at 36 pounds per bushel
  • Chickweed is already flowering in some areas. Oh, gosh, thanks so much for that, Nick. That is why when we have chickweed fields that wields fields that are have chickweed in them, and we put winter wheat in those fields, you must kill that chickweed in the fall, because it’s already growing. It’s competitive with the wheat.
  • Soybeans and micronutrients — know the details! Scott Gillespie says that where they put anhydrous ammonia on the corn the next year where they put that anhydrous there was no manganese deficiency in the soybeans, but there was everywhere else in the field. What happened?
  • The pH in those trials was 8.4 or 8.6. And all of a sudden, it makes sense, because we’ve talked about that nitrogen fertilizer, causing acidity and making low pH. So, reduced pH meant that the manganese became more available.
  • David Jones, tweeting from Kenya, says he’s growing a cover crop, and then when he grows his barley after the cover crop, he sees zinc deficiency in the barley following the cover crop. What the heck?
  • Two farmers side by side, same weather, same soil, same rotation, and one farmer can yield 27% better because they pay more attention to detail. Does that grower that gets 27% more yield because they pay more attention to detail. Is that uniformity? Is that better timing of fungicides or fertility or what is that, and it might be some of the 10% it might be none of the 10%. It might be that all of that 10% is included? We simply don’t know.
  • Triticale question: I want to put the nitrogen on on the frost that we’re going to get on the weekend. Is it too early? Yes. Chance of loss is too high.
  • If you are putting nitrogen on before you see new green growth at the base of the plant, it’s too early
  • Three ton winter forage removes 192 pounds of nitrogen at 20% moisture forage, and what they’re finding is that they’re getting low protein and a lot of these winter forages because growers aren’t putting on enough nitrogen
  • Too early now, but we got to be out there by mid-April to get that nitrogen on to stimulate that growth. If it’s for grain, maybe wait a little longer
  • When does tillering end?
  • The biggest yields come from the biggest biomass with the most heads per meter squared or heads per square foot
  • No potash or N with the soybean seed, but phosphorus is OK with low P fields

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Wheat Pete's Word (view all)Season 8 (2022) Episode 41

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