Wheat Pete's Word, June 8: Too many insects, T3 timing, rolling soys, and fencerow finds


If you’re the happiest farmer in the world right now, you might be in Alberta, or maybe Ontario, as both regions got some much needed and timely rain respectively. For southern Manitoba and eastern Ontario, however, conditions are either get-the-seeder-stuck wet or make-the-wheat-pink wet.

Early heat this season is pushing some insect populations higher than usual for this time of year, too, says Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson in this episode of Wheat Pete’s Word. Spraying cutworm in corn and re-plants for soybeans aren’t out of the question this week. Oh, and it’s T3 timing for wheat this week — get out there!

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].


  • For many people in Ontario, we had a gentle, perfect rain
  • For some, they got a violent thunderstorm or too much rain, again (hello, eastern Ontario!) The Glencoe area got hammered. There may be replants
  • It was hot, now it’s cool. What gives?
  • The wheat likes this cool weather right now and corn and soy are doing just fine in the meantime
  • Manitoba is making progress! And Alberta got a little rain
  • More from the Palouse — wow that is some steep farm land! There is good wheat on those steep slopes. One field can easily have 200 feet difference in elevation
  • Moving on, lots of challenges with soybean emergence. Some fields are taking weeks to emerge. Weeks!
  • Soil differences: fencerow vs field. The difference in soil health and soybean emergence is absolutely astounding
  • Where the old fence line was we have 100% emergence and the beans are a full leaf stage ahead. Just 10 feet over the soil is tight, it’s hard, the beans are struggling to make it up
  • How do we make the whole field like that old fence row? (See photos below)
  • We baby edible beans, and because we work that soil perfectly with edibles, we often see edibles twice in a week, once in a bag, and once out of the ground
  • We got to plant soybeans early, don’t get me wrong, but we have to figure that soil health thing out
  • Tile run ruts! What a mess
  • Pete is getting lots of questions about straw prices. They were talking earlier in the spring about them being crazy
  • Stop rolling beans before they emerge, please. We have to start thinking more and more about rolling them at first to second trifoliate
  • Fusarium! There is no DON Cast this year
  • The yield response to spraying regardless of weather conditions, 75 per cent of the time you get  at least 5.5 bushel per acre yield increase from a T3 fungicide
  • Don’t base your timing on anthers. It’s timed to head emergence. We covered this on Monday for The Agronomists. Check it out here
  • Use coarse droplets, keep the boom low, and use forward/back nozzles
  • Plenty of low level insects out there, but in some instances, they are not so low! Soybean taken out by wireworm in some areas
  • Wireworms have a long lifecycle, remember
  • Cutworm in long-term cover crop trials. They like vegetation, and chickweed especially. Feeding isn’t the worst, but but clipped plants are all bad
  • We’re seeing them in the Niagara Peninsula at very high levels, even clipping off soybeans
  • Replant beans? Need 90,000 plants on loam soils and lighter; 110 to 120,000 plants on the heavy clays
  • Seedcorn maggot damage: not an issue for the replants, because its lifecycle is done
  • Alfalfa weevil hitting threshold even on cut fields (feeding on regrowth in the U.S.)
  • Bean leaf beetle showing up in soybean
  • Leafhopper in new seeding out alfalfa (potato leaf hopper). Resistance does not manifest in first year
  • Nitrate levels are coming back on unbelievably high wherever we had an organic source of N, whether it was red clover, or was fall manure applied, or spring manure applied, some fields are coming back with 300 pounds per acre of available nitrate nitrogen
  • Looks like we’ve had great mineralization out of red clover and manure
  • There will not be an OMAFRA nitrate provincial survey this year
  • It comes down to an individual field basis. For corn on corn, nitrate samples are coming back typical, around 10 parts per million
  • An organic nitrogen source is really paying off, so pull some samples and maybe you can save on expensive commercial N,
  • Question about variable rate nitrogen where there was some clover? Test!


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