Wheat Pete's Word, July 20: Building OM, lodged wheat, hail in the west, and a great grain fill


When it comes to yield, is it heads per square foot that matter the most or an ideal grain fill period?

This year, at least, a pretty great grain filling period is making up for fewer than ideal heads, reports Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson, so that’s something, but not something we can control — unlike planting population.

Johnson discusses that, plus what’s happening with funky coloured oats, tar spot risks, the Goldilocks zone, and wild weather in Western Canada.

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]


  • Trivia time: one bushel of oats makes how many boxes of Cheerios? 40!
  • On Farm Climate Action Fund, Aug 3 to Aug 17. Retro to Feb 15, 2022. Get those applications in (and yes, there are funds available in all provinces)
  • Weather pattern seems to have shifted in Ontario, for the most part
  • Timely rain for many areas, even if it’s a little late or not a lot
  • Damage in Western Canada, southern Alberta. Kara here with RealAgriculture, 90% of land wiped out by hail. Extreme wind damage. Just heartbreaking
  • Some areas are looking really great, however
  • Eastern Ontario has some nearly ideal conditions
  • (Some areas might be a little wet, Peter)
  • ALERT! Safety first. Combine fires are a real risk in the wheat. Have a water wagon and disc with you
  • Great wheat. Head counts are everything? Maybe not! YEN plots suggest higher yields in some areas even with tougher looking wheat. Why? Cooler temps through grain fill
  • 120 bu/ac, 135 bu/ac 149 bu/ac reported
  • Lessons: tough-planted mid-October wheat, broadcast MESZ, 80 bu/ac. November planted, less MESZ but seed placed but outperforming the earlier planted wheat!
  • Soil conditions trump calendar date, that year
  • Sand soil, 1″ of irrigation at late milk, flag leaf was reduced, gained real yield
  • 120 pounds N maxed out yield in some fields, always something to consider
  • 200,000 seeds planted out-yielded lower population on sand. Was it the sand or the timing?
  • Lodging being reported after this week (high seed rates make lodging a higher risk)
  • Eastern Ontario lodging risks: 0 starter strip. Huge rainfall, that strip lodged. The rest stood.
  • Adding organic matter to knolls. Watch this Soil School. Targeted OM additions.
  • Tar spot is challenging many growers this year
  • Some corn didn’t ever leaf roll, but some is tasseling while very short
  • Does that matter? You can still hit 95% yield potential (for grain)
  • Ear leaf and leaf above ear need to be in good shape
  • In some areas, it’s tough to find tar spot. But if the weather has changed to bring more moisture, make sure you’re protecting that crop
  • There is some time to wait (but not for gibberella — that’s early silking)
  • Group 4 drift on soybeans. We have to do a better job.
  • Oats with yellow and red leaves — BYDV, carried by aphids!

Other Episodes

Wheat Pete's Word (view all)Season 8 (2022) Episode 4

Please register to read and comment.

Privacy Preference Center


Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

gdpr, __cfduid, PHPSESSID, wordpress_test_cookie, woocommerce_items_in_cart, woocommerce_cart_hash, wp_woocommerce_session, wordpress_logged_in, wordpress_sec, wp-settings, wp-settings-time, __cf_mob_redir, wordpress_cache, realag


Measuring interactions with the ads on the domain.



These are used to track user interaction and detect potential problems. These help us improve our services by providing analytical data on how users use this site.



Preference cookies enable the website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in.

chartdefaults, comment_author, comment_author_email, comment_author_url
JSESSIONID, _os_session,anonymous_votes,csrf-param,csrf-token,user,user-id,user-platform,intercom-session,intercom-lou,intercom-session
personalization_id, tfw_exp


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