Wheat Pete's Word, July 6: The king of crops in England, rapid growth in dry weather, and white mould checks


What an odd summer this has been already! Too wet in some areas, far too dry in others, a mean flip from one to the other, and too much wind.

The markets have done some wild swings, too, and the host of Wheat Pete’s Word has decided to move to England! Well, OK, he’s visiting England, but don’t worry, the Word rarely takes a week off.

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].


  • This episode is brought to you from London, England, where wheat is actually king
  • There seems to be almost no bugs. What do the birds eat?
  • Apparently the phone message did not go up last week! Always let us know, so we can fix it right away
  • Have you seen the people trespassing in farmers’ canola fields? Not OK! No one called OPP, please do.
  • How many thought it was sunflowers?
  • There are fields designated for selfies. Use those, please
  • Failures are just test plots. Johnson’s Roundup Ready soybean fields that had the IP soybean plot in the middle of it got sprayed with glyphosate we had to replant those IP soybeans
  • What happened to all our wonderful grain markets, man oh man!
  • Wild weather plays in to the markets, too
  • Lots of growers didn’t feel confident pricing crop, because they got caught last year
  • Can you put a stop to the bleeding on a contract? The Canadian Canola Growers Association has a webinar on that
  • Dryness continues in Ontario, some areas got a shower on Tuesday, but didn’t extend to eastern areas
  • Corn is using eight millimetres per day right now; it’s in that rapid growth phase
  • Meanwhile, we go out to Saskatchewan, near Turtleford and sprayers are getting stuck in a mud hole stock right up to the axles
  • One farmer in the Niagara area was putting beans in July 1st
  • In some areas, the corn was knee high by Father’s Day; lots is shoulder high by the first of July
  • Wheat and winter cereal harvest is underway
  • Winter canola harvest has started in Essex, as well
  • The tar spotter app is showing high risk for all of the province. Have not yet been able to talk to Albert Tenuta, but there’s just something going on there. So take the app with a grain of salt right now
  • Relative humidity has been high, but Ed, in the Simcoe area is saying there’s no dew whatsoever. How do you get leaf wetness even at 80 per cent relative humidity if you don’t have wet leaves to begin with? And the answer is you really don’t
  • We have soybean aphids already in parts of Ontario, Drayton area
  • Mark at Drayton tweeting out a picture the last couple of days of June with the soybean aphid population just horrendous on vegetative stage soybeans and lots of good discussion around that
  • Jason out of Manitoba is also finding soybean aphids, you need to get out there and scout
  • High humidity and frequent rains combat aphids
  • Ladybugs are good, too
  • Sefina is the one product that does not kill the natural enemies of the soybean aphid. It’s a more expensive product but if you are spraying early, it won’t be so hard on the beneficial insects
  • While we’re on soybeans, let’s talk white mold risk. Some growers say the soybean crop is slow. See more on this in the Soybean School video
  • Get that staging right! One flower to get to R1, have to have one flower at the top two nodes to get to R2
  • Watch Sporecaster for white mould risk, thicker canopy, field history, etc. Some fields may require two passes
  • Aphids also showing up in alfalfa, but that’s less of an issue, but scout for leaf hopper, and Deb Campbell reports finding potassium deficiency. So that might be another issue (happens more when it is dry)
  • Double crop soybeans. Last year, Dr. Dave Hooker at Ridgetown got 65 bushel per acre planted the 22nd of July. Do not count on that! Try 10 bushels is more likely, especially with no moisture
  • If you try it, crank that population. In Dave’s data, he got a three bushel per acre yield increase to go from 240,000 seeds per acre to 300,000 seeds per acre

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