Wheat Pete's Word, Oct 12: Slipping the clutch, clover commitment, and slow-to-black layer corn


Finally, there is some plot data coming in for discussion!

And that makes host of Wheat Pete’s Word, Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson, incredibly happy. Why? Because even a “no yield response” is a valuable lesson and it’s more fun when we all learn together.

In this week’s episode, Johnson talks corn harvest, weed control, and why thinking big-picture on clover and cover crops matters.

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].


  • Some things are a non-starter. Treated wheat seed found in a soybean delivery is unacceptable! No treated seed in deliveries, please
  • Have a seed wagon, that’s the seed wagon that does not get crops that are going to be delivered to the elevator! It’s unconscionable. Figure it out, buy another wagon
  • Let’s talk about harvest! It’s been an awesome harvest to date for plenty of Ontario and the parts of the Prairies, too
  • A great stretch of weather has helped many
  • Not everybody has had awesome yields, that’s for sure
  • Woody in Chatham-Kent tweeting about green stems on these soybeans. Beans are 11%, the pods are popping open. We talked about it on this episode
  • When the crop is over dry, how much yield do I lose? For every 1% less moisture you have you actually lose 1.1% in yield
  • How come when I’m delivering my kidney beans and they’re 19% moisture and dry is 18% — why am I losing 2.2% shrink in yield like what’s that all about? They’re only 1% over wet. The shrink factor matters.
  • Lots of farmers putting up dryers and bins to manage moisture better
  • Corn harvest….who will win the yield challenge?
  • Johnson said it’s going to be big, big, big, but ouch, some have started corn harvest, and the first field came out at 100 bushels per acre the next at 125 bushels per acre
  • Water wins
  • Terry Daynard tweeted out a picture of the rainfall in September (so dry!)
  • Water was so variable. Some areas were very average
  • Barges are running aground in the Mississippi River
  • Follow WheatPete on Twitter
  • Paul Hermans tweeted out about significant dry down in the corn crop. Late to black layer
  • I’ve been pretty disappointed with how big an impact the frost has had, the cold temperatures have had, a lot of corn looks like it’s just totally given up
  • Is this delayed black layer a good thing in corn because it means it lengthens the grain fill process? I don’t know
  • Things are moving, even if slowly
  • Test wheat is not a yield factor but it is a quality factor
  • Small cobs, tight husks = more ear mould risk
  • Get that corn out of the field as quickly as we can
  • Levi out of the Niagara Peninsula tweeting out a picture: he is re-planting wheat. Billy from Quebec saying same thing here I’m replanting winter wheat between the tile runs
  • An update on post-tropical storm Fiona: Wow, that corn crop. They said it’s a salvage operation. Even with it twisted like that they were getting 90 or 95% of that corn
  • Finally, plot results
  • Three-rep trial on a biological seed treatment that they did on corn. Mark said no difference, no difference, no difference, everything’s the same, and then they harvest the corn and yield with the biological seed treatment, this is with the treated yield 223 bushels per acre, the yield without 234 bushels per acre. Look at that!
  • Please send them in if you can at all and tweet them out
  • A zero yield response answer is just as important as a positive yield answer.
  • Question is there nothing I can do to field horsetail in harvested soybeans? Too late! It’s already produced all the nutlets in the soil that it’s going to produce. You simply have to wait until next spring and remember, horsetail is a multi year program
  • Is there more of an N credit on heavier seeded clover? It’s about biomass. You need a good stand to get the N credit
  • For those ready to give up on clover…usually because inconsistent. Remember, we want that seed to be quarter-inch, to half-inch deep in the soil. That’s super shallow. Don’t bury it.
  • Many are reporting they didn’t put a cover crop in because of costs
  • We should always be price conscious, but dang it all, with $11 wheat and $20 soybeans, the economics are still there to drive cover crop acres
  • Skipping red clover because of seed costs? Where are we slipping the clutch here? It’s probably short-term gain for long-term pain
  • Run the economics. Some set ups work really well, such as rye as a cover crop; harvest the rye next spring as a forage and plant soybeans. Organic farmers are doing this, and it’s working awesome

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