Wheat Pete's Word, Sept 7: Check strips, washing drills, adding seeds and filling bunks


How many times a season do you leave a test strip? Many test strips happen by accident — like running out of pop-up fertilizer, or forgetting to turn the sprayer back on — but lessons learned from a test strip are just as valuable whether left on purpose or because of a whoops.

In this week’s Wheat Pete’s Word, host Peter Johnson shares the results of at least one purposely-left strip, plus recaps some rapid fire questions that came up this week, like adjusting wheat seeding rates, taking out fall weeds but saving the clover, and anticipating corn energy and tonnage.

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].


  • Self-contained protein packages? Eggs, my friends. Eggs!
  • It’s all about the promo. Spin and public perception, friends
  • What does Wheat Pete do with the word? Thank you for all the positive comments, just keep at it, please
  • I love doing the Word, Johnson says
  • Dr. Dave Hooker, of Ridgetown Campus University of Guelph, is going to tackle corn physiology and tie it back to agronomy and how it all works
  • Wednesday has been an awesome day on the wheat markets. They are up strong, you’re back into over $10 a bushel for  new crop week
  • Such a huge distance between the haves and have nots this year — such huge variability in the weather, even within a region
  • Good soil even has dead corn!
  • Nick at Strathroy measured the size of cracks and they went down 18″
  • Meanwhile, even short beans are podding up nicely
  • Johanna asks how many pounds of corn cob meal does it take to make a bushel of dry corn? Buying cob meal or standing corn for silage — pricing will be interesting
  • Short corn has decent sized cobs, does that mean higher energy in the corn? Maybe, but if you’re trying to fill the bunk, you’re going to need more acres
  • Edible bean harvest is mediocre. Small seed size
  • Too short to even pull, makes for poor windrows
  • Why are poor crops harder to combine? So frustrating
  • Pesticide ponderings: Adding an insecticide to a spring burndown is common in this one area, because it’s cheap. That’s a recipe for resistance and for eliminating your beneficial friends!
  • The other side of that coin: Warren from Eastern Ontario sprayed for Western Bean Cutworm and left a check strip and to the LINE there is WBC
  • Utilizing pesticides when we need them is critical, but just using them because they’re cheap doesn’t cut it anymore
  • The Great White combine in Western Canada has been merciless, shelled out a whole bunch of oats
  • We used to thresh grain by beating it with a flail and then throwing it up in the wind to separate the chaff from the grain — nature doing the threshing
  • Rain forecast for Monday, do I push as hard as I can to get my wheat planted before the rain Monday? At Drayton, YES.
  • Same with winter barley and winter canola (Check out The Agronomists on winter canola here)
  • Corn silage: dairy farmers are getting short on silage, they need feed. On good soil where we’ve got reasonable moisture that corn is green to the ground
  • Why? It’s been relatively cool. We’re using fungicides that also gives us good stay green, we’re using corn hybrids that have great stay green. And the last part is that for many growers with lots of manure in the history, we saw this spring, very high nitrate release from that repeated manure applications
  • We don’t want to see any firing on the ear leaf, but the bottom leaves one or two of them a little bit of nitrogen deficiency is not the worst
  • Decent red clover after a wheat crop. But have winter perennial weeds, when do I take it out? It doubles its root growth in October
  • Two well-known agronomists have given up with red clover!
  • Good red clover begets good red clover, do not walk away for red clover if you’re getting good stands, but if you’re not getting good stands
  • Dandelions can be controlled into November, but perennial sow thistle needs a little sooner termination
  • We have to get decent weather, so some time in early to mid-October
  • New barn with sand bedding; how does it work into the field applications? It doesn’t do anything good for you, man
  • 100,000 seeds per acre every five days past optimal for wheat
  • MAP mixed with the seed: wash the drill after immediately (it takes management)
  • Can you go to 15 gallons of 10-34-0 with the wheat seed? Yes, but how could you afford to do that?
  • Don’t do liquid manure with the coleoptile is close to emerging — either before or after but not at emergence

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