Wheat Pete's Word, Mar 9: Stay green impacts, drainage, pollinator patches, and spraying on red clover


It won’t be long now until many Ontario farmers who put in winter wheat last fall will be anxiously watching crop green up and regrow to determine if the crop is worth leaving, or if it needs to be ripped out.

Crop prices are good pretty much across the board — especially wheat — so there are good reasons to keep that crop going if it shows promise. But what if there are drowned-out or dead patches? One farmer that called in to Wheat Pete’s Word suggests creating in-field pollinator patches.

RealAgriculture’s resident agronomist and host of Wheat Pete’s Word has an answer: Hey, why not?

For that discussion, plus how to manage wheat test weight and what you can and can’t do about falling number, listen on!

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].


  • Wheat Pete is a thespian. Go watch him! Thistle Theatre, first two weekends in April. (Editor’s note: be sure to heckle!)
  • Sunday was ‘The Big Thaw’
  • There’s some field work happening, too, if you can believe it, in Ontario
  • Red clover on wheat…with a sprayer? 12 pounds per acre of single cut/sweet clover blend
  • Do you remember you childhood phone number?
  • Chuck Penner’s insight: two major marketing risks, that the invasion of Ukraine continues. Or, that it stops. How do you manage that risk?
  • 100 acres tile-drained last year, has another 100 to tile this year. The massive melt from Sunday showed the real value of tile!
  • Pete presented to Dr. Dave Hooker’s class, and it was a reminder of how powerful Drainage Act is for Ontario
  • Ontario farmers are fortunate to be able to drain land like they do
  • Is there an ideal tile diameter?
  • Patchy wheat? If the areas are small, what about a pollinator mix. Neat idea! Clover is a pollinator mix too
  • Make sure whatever you do put in is low-growing to put off harvest issues
  • Get those maps! Get up high and get an aerial view to decide if it is worth keeping
  • Heck, put oats in. But keep it covered.
  • Greg Stewart will post the Delta Yield Calculator on the Maizex website (and tune in to The Agronomists, March 14 to hear from Greg and ask him about it)
  • 4,000 bushels of seed for winter wheat this fall….can you plant it NOW for this fall’s seed? Oh dear. What a risk.
  • Winter barley? Maybe. The vernalization period is much shorter
  • Stacked cereal program out of PEI showing impressive results
  • YEN program here in Ontario is also giving us some interesting things to dig in to for results
  • Nitrogen use efficiency changes based on management decisions
  • 65 lb/bu test weight on high management, 60 lb/bu on none-managed. The difference was staying greener longer (flag leaf)
  • How do we manage falling number? Not a darn thing you can do with nutrient management to make it resilient, but it’s all about harvest timing, really. Leave it in the bin! It’ll come down a little
  • Too high protein in wheat? That’s all N, baby.

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