Wheat Pete's Word, June 29: Curled-up corn, slow wheat, happy beans, and an alert on aphids


Sometimes, it’s the weather than gets farmers excited about double cropping, other times, it’s crop prices. The 2022 growing season looked like it was shaping up for an early wheat harvest in Ontario but recent dry weather has slowed things down.

This week on Wheat Pete’s Word, host Peter Johnson tackles water use in corn and wheat, and why dry weather now can hurt yield, plus ammonia burn impacts, and an alert, alert, alert on aphids in oats and other cereal crops.

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].


  • Ontario is dry, but got some much-needed rain this morning!
  • Wheat harvest has been begun in Ontario
  • Meanwhile, in Alberta, a multi-year drought seems to have broken, with perhaps maybe too much rain at once
  • It means they’re going to have a crop!  Let’s grow some grain and put some wheat in the bin and help feed the world
  • A few showers have helped many farmers, but areas are dry to very dry
  • Manitoba is still working to get the last of the crop in, past the crop insurance deadline. Some canola is being flown on
  • A scenario: winter wheat in Alberta that looks great, but the tissue sample comes back great for everything except boron. So the farmer gets the plane in and applies some boron, then irrigates three inches. Couldn’t leave a test strip!
  • Geese chewed the wheat off enough times that that area of the field yielded 90 bushels per acre, the rest of the field at 140
  • Northfolk sands, irrigated wheat crop looks great. It’s nice to be able to control the water!
  • Corn nitrogen are being pulled to help decide how much more nitrogen to put on
  • Y-drops make this an easier way to manage N, because it is dry, and broadcast N on standing corn can cause burn
  • Broadcast dry fertilizer on standing corn equals browning/burn from ammonia toxicity of that urea. We didn’t get any dilution factor from any water whatsoever
  • Does the burn really matter? It won’t make a huge difference, likely, but, boy, does it ever look ugly
  • Remember that soil nitrate tests are calibrated to corn in the four- to six- or even eight leaf corn. Stuff that is under your knee. If you go out and you pull a nitrate test with corn that is waist high, then the numbers that we have do not calibrate
  • Corn starts to pull so much N in the rapid growth stage (six to seven leaf corn). From there on the corn crop pulls so much nitrogen that the soil nitrates continue to go down down down down down and by the time you get to grain fill period the soil nitrates are very close to zero regardless of how much nitrogen you had there to begin
  • When is corn actually drought stressed? Rope leaf/leaf roll for four days = officially under drought stress up until v 12
  • Deep root could be a side-benefit? But some moisture would be good, please
  • Soybeans look fine, for the most part right now because they’re not in the high-moisture need phase
  • What about the poor wheat crop?
  • It’s been a tough growing year. 14 inches of rain last October, tile run wheat and now we’re into just not enough moisture whatsoever
  • Knolls and sand and low OM wheat is dying, lower areas/high OM has slowed down
  • What about early harvest to double crop beans? You can use pre-harvest wheat glyphosate to speed dry-down, but ONLY  is 95% of the peduncles has totally changed colour to a very tan colour (and no, Eragon won’t work)
  • Could swath it, but that’s a recipe for making it rain
  • A true desiccant is an option, but only a registered one
  • Alternatively, just prioritize harvest and get out there as soon as possible. What happens if you get green kernels in the bin?
  • ALERT! Aphids in the oat crop. Simcoe area is a hot spot, but it sounds like Northern Ontario has aphids as well. The threshold on aphids 15 aphids per stem before heading. Get out there and scout scout scout

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Subscribe to our daily newsletters to keep you up-to-date with our latest coverage every morning.

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Other Episodes

Wheat Pete's Word (view all)Season 8 (2022) Episode 27

Please register to read and comment.


Register for a RealAgriculture account to manage your Shortcut menu instead of the default.